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Accomplishments in 2018   arrow

Feb/March 2018

DIATEP Training: In early February, five Administrators & Nurses from Wakefield Public Schools attended this training at Reading High School, sponsored by the regional Substance Abuse Prevention grant.  This training, provides Admin and nurses the tools to properly screen students who are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs (including Rx not prescribed to them).  The second day of the training was designed for nurses to assess vital signs and other physiological and psychological signs of impairment.

Galvin Family Feud On February 15th, the Galvin Youth Action Team hosted their 3rd Annual Family Feud.  Over 20 Youth Action Team members were responsible for planning, promoting, and running this event which drew over 160 participants & audience members.  This is not only a fun event, but helps recruit future Youth Action Team members!

5th Annual Parent University: Well over 200 parents and caregivers were in attendance at the event on March 10, 2018.  Keynote, Carrie Stack, was well received and parents appreciated hearing her messages regarding positive framework & growth mindset.  Popular workshops included Parenting Communication Skills, Growth Mindset- The Brain is a Muscle that Grows, and Understanding Anxiety.   Catherine, Officer Jay, & Officer Kelley lead a workshop entitled Risky Business: Vaping, Edibles & other current trends and how talk to your tween/teen.

Spring Sports Orientation: On March 26th Brendan Kent invited parents and athletes to the spring sports orientation.  Parents & athletes heard from Mr. Kent, Maureen Buzby, and Officer Jason Skillings about the dangers of vaping, chewing tobacco, marijuana, alcohol and consequences for athletes.  

Lynn Lyons, LICSW Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: Strategies to Interrupt the Worry Cycle On March 27th over 700 parents, educators, and adults came out to the Galvin Middle School.  Prior to Lynn Lyon’s talk, a representative from William James College Interface gave an overview of the free Referral Service available to all Wakefield residents & students.  Wake-Up partnered with the Wakefield Public Schools, Wakefield SEPAC, Beebe Library, Canterbury, North Suburban Family Network to bring Lynn to Wakefield.

April 2018

April 28th Rx Take Back Successful event, 299.3 lbs total of unused medications! Two locations this year, Public Safety Building & Walgreens filled one large box on Saturday.  Both drop locations had a great turnout!

May 2018

May 2nd Treatment/Recovery and Narcan Training event at Americal, 6:30p-8p. Several providers participated in this event organized by the Wakefield Police Department, Wake Up, and Eliot Community Services.  A great opportunity to network and get a better understanding of local treatment & recovery services.

May 15th Wake-Up Annual Breakfast over 65 people were in attendance at the Annual Wake Up meeting.  Youth Action Team members presented highlights from their year.  Jill Charie & Donna Macdonald highlighted some of the coalition’s new projects and talked about the year ahead. Newly appointed Superintendent of Schools Doug Lyons gave the keynote.   Representative Donald Wong was given the Community Award, for his commitment to ensuring funds to address the Opioid Epidemic. Our Youth Action Team Leaders presented WMHS teacher, Jimmy Martin with the first annual Trusted Adult Award.  Finally, graduating YAT Leaders Kaia Cairoli, Jared Hurley, Tommy Lucey, and Kaitlyn Murphy were thanked for their years of service to the coalition.

May 17th New Resident Open House Wake-Up was on hand to communicate mental health and substance use disorder services to new residents.

May 30th 1st Annual WMHS Senior Night Wake-Up was proud to help organize and support this safe, substance free post-prom celebration for graduating seniors.  Over 90% of the Senior Class participated in the all-night party at Dave and Busters. WMHS Committee successfully secured over $35,000 in donations & prizes to help make the event a success.  For more information visit:

July 2018

July 17th Annual Wake Up Planning Retreat Over 20 Coalition members turned out for Wake-Up’s 2018-2019 Planning Retreat.  The session was facilitated by Emily Bhargava, an independent consultant who helped the coalition identify priority areas, select strategies, and assign next steps to move initiatives forward.

July 19th DA Middlesex Opioid Task Force Presentation on Interface, include WMHS Assistant Principal Gerrilyn Trafficante who talked about how the Wakefield Public Schools utilize the referral service. Wakefield’s most recent Interface Report showed that 60 individuals from Wakefield used the service over the past 6 months, a 36% increase from the previous reporting period.

August 2018

August 8th & 15th ATOD Coaches Info Video filmed WMHS Athletic, Health, & Wellness Director Brendan Kent & a few varsity coaches filmed an informational video for coaches on how to talk to student-athletes about ATOD use.  Video will be shown to all WMHS coaches and Wakefield youth sports coaches who work with students in grades 7 & 8. View video here:

September 2018

Recovery Month Vigil (Sept.19th) Voices for Recovery and Remembrance event was held on the Stoneham Town Common. Individuals from Mystic Valley regional communities, including Wakefield, turned out for this annual event. Speakers included individuals in recovery. A candlelight remembrance walk and vigil was held for those who have been lost. Resource tables were available.

October 2018

Wakefield Public Schools Professional Development (October 17th) Catherine, Officer Kelley and Officer Jay led a two-hour professional development training for 40 Galvin and WMHS faculty. The training focused on substance use and social-emotional qualitative data from the YRBS and current trends in Wakefield. Training evaluations demonstrated that information was relevant, helpful, and provided useful information.

DA’s Presentation (October 18th) Catherine and Kara presented to DA Marian Ryan’s regional Opioid Prevention taskforce on effective parent education and peer to peer strategies Wakefield has utilized for Substance Use and Mental Health education.

Rx Take Back (October 27th) Successful event! Wakefield turned in 265.6 lbs of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications to the incinerator.

November 2018

“In Plain Sight” November 7th (8:00am & 5:30pm) & November 8th (8:00am & 5:30pm) @ Town Hall AND WMHS Cafeteria November 29th 6pm-8:00pm, Over 125 parents, caregivers, and community members visited the open house. Each visitor learned about current substance use trends & local data as well as high-risk social-emotional warning signs and strategies parents can use to help their adolescents. Visitors also toured a teen bedroom and learned strategies teens utilize to hide substance use or other risky behaviors.

December 2018

Winter Sports Parent Night Maureen Buzby spoke to parents/caregivers of WMHS winter sports athletes about the dangers and newest trends with vaping and Dabbing THC.


Youth Action Team Updates

Feb 2018/March 2018

-2 Vaping PSA’s were created for Wakefield youth by Wakefield youth

-International Women’s Day Panel:  Galvin Youth Action Team members were invited as special guests to Wakefield’s International Women’s Day Panel.

April 2018

-Youth Action Team Leaders & Youth Action Team High School Club members presented to 9th graders in their health classes covering topics such as mental health, vaping in an interactive quiz show format.

2018 pizza party


-Youth Action Team High School Club received a pizza party from the for their vaping prevention work.






May 2018

Galvin Talent Show

2018 talent show

Over 150 youth attended the 2nd annual Talent Show organized by the Galvin YAT.


2018 staff newsletter



-Faculty/Staff Newsletter was produced by the Youth Action Team for faculty/staff and admin at WMHS.





June 2018

-Youth Action Team Leaders staffed Festival by the Lake event table to talk to the community about Health Department Programs such as Wake Up and Mass in Motion.

-Youth Action Team Leaders recruited Youth Action Team Club members at 2018 Warrior Pride Night.

-YAT Summer Calendars were created & distributed to highlight free positive summer fun in Town.

July 2018

Park of the Month

We hosted bocce ball & other lawn games at the Mapleway Park in July & JJ Round in August.  The hot or rainy weather wasn’t very helpful but we did have a few people join us!


Youth to Youth

5 YAT members recently attended the 2018 Youth to Youth International  Conference at Bryant University in Rhode Island.

Over the course of the four-day conference, we were able to hear from national speakers, participate in skill-building workshops, and collaborate with youth from all over the country.  It was awesome!  Lots of crying when we leave but so much excitement to put into action in Wakefield what we learned.

August 2018

Sticker Shock

August 23rd:  Wake-Up Coalition’s Youth Action Team Leaders visited liquor stores in Wakefield for Sticker Shock. Youth created stickers that define the penalties of purchasing or providing alcohol to minors. They placed stickers on bottles and cans of popular teen alcohol drinks. It reminds people who can buy alcohol not to buy for teens, “If they can’t buy for themselves, don’t buy for them.”




8th Grade Leadership Summit  

August 27th & 28th: Youth Action Team Leaders assisted Galvin Administrators by facilitating Teambuilding activities and leadership workshops for rising 8th graders.





Drug Paraphernalia Convenience Store Checks

Effective July 1, 2018, drug paraphernalia can only be sold in businesses which restricts its entrance to people 21 years of age or older, per Board of Health. This includes all types of pipes and “objects used, primarily intended for use or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introduction marijuana, cocaine, hashish or hashish oil into the human body…” (MGL 94C).

We went out to the 16 convenience stores in June & August to see what stores had in stock before and after the restriction went into effect. The good news is the stores removed mostly all of their paraphernalia (like glass pipes, bongs)!



September 2018

HS youth action team


HS Club -The first High School Club of the year was very successful with sixty-one youth participating! New Youth Action Team members got straight to work on the Bathroom Buzz, Faculty Newsletter, and prep for the Healthy Living Expo.



Galvin Club -- The first Galvin Middle School Club of the year welcomed 40 new and returning Youth Action team members. HS Leaders (who are Galvin Club alumni) gave an overview of the club, facilitated team building activities, and helped students come up with the parameters for the first projects of the year: photo contest and October News Flush.

October 2018

Healthy Living Expo 2018


Healthy Living Expo Youth Action Team Leaders were on hand at the 2nd Annual Healthy Living Expo. Youth facilitated an interactive activity asking people what they do to grow “healthy flowers” and shrink “negative weeds” in their community.



November 2018

Youth Action Team Awarded WEF Grant Youth leaders wrote an application to Wakefield Education Foundation to bring speaker Matt Bellace to Wakefield Memorial High School in the early spring. Some of our youth leaders saw him speak at the Youth to Youth Conference in Rhode Island and thought he would resonate well with students at WMHS. His message is about finding your natural high and reminding youth not everyone is drinking or using drugs.

December 2018

Youth Action Team Facilitate 9th-grade Health Classes Youth Action Team Leaders and Club members presented to 9th-grade Health classes in December. They created an interactive Jeopardy! game focused on vaping: myths and facts, school rules, new trends, etc. to cover topics Health Teachers wanted students to know that could not be covered during regular class time. Health Teachers felt information about vaping would be more effective with the peer to peer model.

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