Computer is enlisted in anti-drug war Middle school students to barrage peers with information

January 31, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

The county's middle school students will be bombarded soon with drug-abuse information from their peers, thanks to two enterprising teachers and a sheriff's deputy who joined forces to secure a computer for North Carroll Middle School.

The teachers, Karla Amspacher and Bob Lenz, and Deputy Tim Schaeffer of the county Sheriff's Office were convinced that a computer for students would greatly enhance communication, recordkeeping and the dissemination of anti-drug information.

The county schools' drug education coordinator, Joanne M. Hayes, had gotten a computer through a grant "and was upgrading to a newer computer," Mrs. Amspacher said. "It was her idea to offer the computer to the one school with the most comprehensive plan on how they would use it for drug-abuse education."

The computer, a Macintosh with laser printer and graphics and publishing software, is 4 years old, Mrs. Hayes said.

Mr. Lenz, co-chairman of the school's Student Assistance Team, said he had worked on securing grants in the past and was considering submitting a plan for the computer in November when he overheard Mrs. Amspacher, co-adviser of the schools' Students Helping Others and Understanding Themselves program, talking about submitting a plan for her students.

Mrs. Amspacher, who teaches health, also saw the benefit a computer would provide to students in her classes.

The teachers enlisted support from Deputy Schaeffer, the school's Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer.

"The requirements were not all that formal," Mr. Lenz said. "We sat down and put together ideas for each of our areas. We all saw a computer as a valuable tool for recordkeeping and communication."

Health students could also use the computer in class, as soon as "I can learn what software or CD-ROMs are available and figure how to get them," Mrs. Amspacher said.

Deputy Schaeffer saw that a computer could help in conducting surveys and maintaining statistics.

"The North Carroll Middle School plan was the only one of the many good ones I received that included the potential use for the DARE officer," said Mrs. Hayes.

That made her tough decision a bit easier, and the computer was delivered just before the holiday break in December.

"We're still figuring how to take best advantage of it," Mrs. Amspacher said.

"With the holidays, then the week lost for snow," we're a little behind in starting to get [projects] done," Mr. Lenz said.

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