Students ‘Escape the Vape’ at Rye Neck High School

Students ‘Escape the Vape’ at Rye Neck High School  thumbnail143354

Rye Neck High School students participated in events designed to bring awareness to the dangers of vaping and to increase prevention efforts in their school and community. The events were part of the Students Against Destructive Decisions’ Vaping Awareness Week from Nov. 18-22. 

During the “Escape the Vape” challenge, which was facilitated by high school counselor and SADD adviser Susan Hannon and health teacher Shawn Lincoln in all 10th grade health classes, the students solved a series of puzzle-like activities while learning different facts about the dangers of vaping. Working in groups, they began the challenge by popping balloons that contained facts about vaping and revealed a key. The key led to a lock box which contained puzzles they had to put together. These puzzles contained the next clue that led to another key that opened a miniature locker. The locker had more facts about vaping and a limerick to solve, which then led to a lock box that brought them to the last clue. To complete the challenge, the students were tasked with creating a poster about all the facts they had learned about vaping.

“‘Escaping’ required collaboration, teamwork, quick thinking and definitely patience as they worked through the interactive and challenging puzzles,” Hannon said. “It was so much fun watching the students work their way through the clues. The posters they made were very informative, proving that this was an effective way to get across the message that vaping is unhealthy. It is my hope that the students learned more about the dangers of vaping and will think twice when making decisions to vape or not in the future.” 

In addition to the health "Escape the Vape" activity, all high school students learned about the dangers of vaping and its effect on the brain by viewing student-created public service announcements in their English and social studies classes. This was supplemented by presentations in physical education classes, during which SADD members facilitated peer discussions on the topic. The students were also provided with numerous alternatives to vaping or what to do after they quit, and were provided with information on where to seek assistance, from pediatricians and parents to counselors, coaches and friends, to break an addiction.

“The students really tried to connect with the audience, providing anecdotes, personal stories and their own opinions,” Hannon said. “Students don’t always want to hear from adults, teachers or parents when it comes to their decision making. Sometimes it helps to become aware of the dangers of such decisions like vaping from someone your own age who also needs to make the same decisions.” 

Special thanks to SADD president Katelyn Sansotta, vice president Lucille Velikson, treasurer Natalie Goldberg, secretary Anna Romani and public relations officer Mario Capparelli for their efforts in raising awareness about the dangers of vaping.