Volunteers Needed for Pulaski Program

09/27/2021

Riverhead CAP is seeking adult volunteers to teach its 2021-2022 Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program to fifth and sixth grade students in Pulaski Street School. The program consists of eight monthly sessions. Adult volunteers and peer leaders from the high school and middle school teach the lessons. Volunteers receive training by professional staff each month prior to the presentation, so there is no prior experience required. Training begins in mid- to late October. Both English and Spanish speaking volunteers are needed.

A small investment with tremendous payoff

The total time commitment is only about 2-3 hours per month during the school year. CAP works with volunteers to provide a flexible training schedule. Many volunteers schedule the monthly presentations during their lunch hour. CAP also works with local employers to provide time off for volunteering. “This small investment of time yields a tremendous payoff, both for the volunteers and the community” said Felicia Scocozza, executive director of Riverhead CAP. According to Scocozza, CAP has provided this program for Riverhead students since 1982.

“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the program over the past two years, so the need for new in-person volunteers has increased,” added Scocozza. “The program was 100% virtual last year. It consisted of bi-monthly videos with CAP Peer Leaders providing voiceovers in both English and Spanish. It was very labor intensive, but we still reached our goal of demonstrating positive learning outcomes.”

“Being a CAP volunteer has been a rewarding experience,” said Carla Hanson, a CAP Volunteer since 2007. “Students are very receptive to the program, and they come away with skills that will help them say ‘NO’ to drugs and alcohol. They also learn basic life skills such as decision making, how to build self-esteem, and how to handle bullying.”  Ms. Hanson continued, “I love the way CAP uses older students as peer leaders. The younger children really enjoy learning from their older peers, and it is a great reinforcement for the middle school and high school students.”

skill development for personal and academic success

CAP currently utilizes Too Good for Drugs at Pulaski, an evidence-based skill development program. The program is designed to mitigate the risk factors and enhance protective factors related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use. The lessons introduce and develop social and emotional skills for making healthy choices, building positive friendships, developing self-efficacy, communicating effectively, and resisting peer pressure and influence. Research has linked these skills with healthy development and academic success.

New: apply online

Volunteers can now apply online by clicking here. You can also download a paper application here and a flyer to share here.

for more information

For more information about becoming a CAP volunteer, or to sign up, please contact Cynthia Redmond, Community Prevention Specialist, at (631) 727-3722 or [email protected]