CAREFAST students take the pledge |

CAREFAST students take the pledge

Last year students at Roaring Fork High School gave a survey to all the high schools in the valley. The students wanted to know how students and the community perceived Roaring Fork High School.What Roaring Fork students discovered wasn’t pretty.Roaring Fork High School has the worst reputation in the community, the students have the highest perceived percentage of alcohol abuse and gangs are taking over the school, according to those who filled out the survey.”We don’t even have gangs,” said Jaclyn Nicholson, 17, a senior at Roaring Fork High School and member of Student Empowerment. “It was pretty clear-cut from the survey that we’re looked down upon.”In attempt to change Roaring Fork’s reputation and show the community what the students already know – they say Roaring Fork High School is a great high school – Student Empowerment decided to reinstate CAREFAST.CAREFAST is a drug- and alcohol-free after-school program.Any student who pledges to be drug- and alcohol-free can stay at the high school on designated weekend nights to watch movies, play poker and hang out with friends.CAREFAST was started 10 years ago by former Roaring Fork and Basalt Middle School principal Pat Henry and was put on the back burner for a couple years after Henry’s retirement, said Laura French, a teacher at Roaring Fork High School who’s involved with CAREFAST. “Carbondale hasn’t received the best press,” said French. “There are a lot of issues Carbondale deals with that other schools don’t need to address.”Underage drinking is an issue that all high schools face, French said.In a Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 47 percent of high school students said they’d had an alcoholic drink in the past 30 days, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.Drinking on weekends is not uncommon among high school students but many students have no desire to drink, Nicholson said.”This senior class is actually pretty good,” Nicholson said. “I’m not naive, I know people drink. We just want to have a place for those who choose not to drink.”Contact Ivy Vogel: 945-8515, ext. 534ivogel@postindependent.comInaugural CAREFAST The first CAREFAST will be held after the football game from 10 p.m. – midnight Friday, Oct. 15, at Roaring Fork High School.The first CAREFAST will be held after the football game from 10 p.m. – midnight Friday, Oct. 15, at Roaring Fork High School.

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