Talbot Goes Purple partners with SSPP School

Students, faculty, administration and other employees of Sts. Peter & Paul School gather in September for a purple photo as part of Talbot Goes Purple.

EASTON — Talbot Goes Purple has announced a partnership with Sts. Peter & Paul School, as part of the substance use prevention initiative geared at local students.

Now in its third year, Talbot Goes Purple is an awareness and education prevention program that empowers youth and the community to “Go Purple” as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse.

The initiative includes purple clubs in middle and high schools, through which students learn they do not need drugs or alcohol to meet life’s challenges. The purpose of the project is to promote the “new conversation” — one that includes prescription drugs, alcohol, marijuana and e-cigarettes.

In its first year, TGP worked with Talbot County Public Schools to establish student-led, student-focused purple clubs within Easton and St. Michaels high schools. Last year, student clubs also formed in both county middle schools. This year, for year three, Sts. Peter & Paul School also is working on establishing a student club. In addition, Sabre student-athletes have dedicated several of their games to TGP, sporting purple in support and solidarity with the community.

“We recognize the impact that substance abuse has across the entire community, and SSPP is fully committed to raising awareness and supporting the mission of TGP,” said James E. Nemeth, principal of Sts. Peter & Paul High School.

SSPP has been a partner since TGP began, supporting the initiative and welcoming the program’s speakers for all three years. Chris Herren spoke to SSPP students in grades eight to 12 as part of the inaugural year for TGP. Last year, Jim Wahlberg spoke and screened his film, “If Only,” at the school. For year three, local recovery advocate Bruce Strazza shared his personal experience with SSPP students.

“We can’t thank Sts. Peter & Paul School enough for all of their support for this initiative,” Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble said. “From spray painting a purple ribbon and TGP on the field, to taking games purple this year, the school and its students have really embraced our initiative. We’re excited to move forward with a formal partnership and work together on helping our kids stand up against substance abuse.”

“We are pleased to welcome Sts. Peter & Paul School as a partner to Talbot Goes Purple,” said Lucie Hughes of Tidewater Rotary. “Their commitment to the effort has been there from the beginning. We look forward to working with them as we continue to educate and bring awareness to substance abuse.”

As a substance use prevention initiative, TGP focuses on educating students about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, and works toward preventing kids from beginning to use these substances in the first place. The program supports students with various evidence-based activities and messages that help them stand up against substance abuse.

As the nation grapples with this staggering opioid crisis, TGP continues to focus on prevention, for which benefits are recouped in the future. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance abuse costs The nation more than $600 billion each year. Yet every dollar spent on in-school prevention programs saves society $18, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

An initiative from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary, in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools, Sts. Peter & Paul School and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Talbot Goes Purple empowers youth and the community to “Go Purple” as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse.

More information about Talbot Goes Purple is available at www.talbotgoespurple.org. Find TGP on Facebook @TalbotGoesPurple or email talbotgoespurple@gmail.com.

Talbot Goes Purple is a component fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, donations to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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