GLASGOW — Students wore “drunk” goggles as they tried to complete puzzles Wednesday in the Glasgow Middle School library.
They were participating in the Healthy Habits summer camp hosted by the GMS 21st Century Community Learning Center, and this was an activity directed by a guest speaker — Katie Shepard, community health educator and ASAP coordinator for T.J. Regional Health.
“We talked about substance use,” Shepard said. “Specifically alcoholism and impairment and what it does to your brain, your hand-eye coordination and how you function in everyday life.
“This activity simulated to them if they were to drive or to do any type of function, that they would not be able to do it to 100% of their ability.”
Shepard said this activity “makes it more real for them.”
“They know alcohol is bad, but doing an activity to simulate what it would do if they were in a real-life situation — I just think it makes it more real,” she said. “I just feel that education at an early age is important. I feel like if we can get to them now, we can help prevent other bad behaviors in the future.”
GMS rising eighth-grader Brittany Brown said it was very challenging and frustrating to complete the puzzle while wearing the “drunk” goggles.
“Everything is like off-centered,” she said. “It’s not where it’s actually at. It’s off, and it’s hard to concentrate because it’s not where it’s at.”
Hunter Brooks, another GMS rising eighth-grader, also tried completing the puzzle while wearing the goggles, and it was an eye-opening experience for him.
“Whenever I first started, I was like, ‘Whoa, is this actually the mind of a drunk person?’” he said. “So then I was reaching for (a puzzle piece), but it wasn’t quite there.”
Kellye Bishop, site coordinator for the 21st CCLC summer camps, said the theme for this week is “Healthy Habits,” and that they have had several guest speakers including Shepard and Tina Smajlagic, of Hope Harbor — and that Kelly Furlong, of Extreme Fitness, would visit on Thursday.
Bishop said they have discussed health and nutrition with the students, talking about “healthy food versus junk food, and how that can affect your health.” She said other topics have included social and emotional learning, substance abuse and alcohol, as well as the importance of daily exercise.
On Friday, the campers will travel to Beach Bend Park in Bowling Green.
“They’ll get some exercise and physical fitness inside the waterpark,” Bishop said. “And there will be a drug awareness magic show that Beech Bend will be putting on for them.”
This particular week of summer camp is important for the students, Bishop said, since they are learning about their health at an early age and will be able to know how to take care of themselves as adults.
Bishop said they are very blessed to have a community willing to spend time in its local schools.
“It really touches my heart,” she said. “We love having our community partners come in and provide services to us. It’s just important to have those contacts in the community because they provide education to our students.”