Stafford Township Police Proud of Another Successful Project Aware

Apr 17, 2019
Source: Stafford Police

Stafford Intermediate School, local police and healthcare professionals and volunteers have completed another successful Project Aware program to drive home the dangers of using and abusing substances. Last week, sixth-grade student actors performed the show at the Stafford Township Arts Center in Manahawkin, where a fatal heroin overdose is acted out before the eyes of the stunned middle school audience, with the action moving from the theater to the emergency room at Southern Ocean Medical Center, where the whole thing plays out as if reality. The program has been a rite of passage for local youngsters for 20 years.

The medical center’s coordinator of Project Aware is Ken Rodenbaugh, who shared with the students his own experience with bad choices and addiction. Stafford Community Policing Officer Chris Fritz explained to the kids the program is made to be as realistic as possible “because we want every one of you to remember how you felt seeing what you saw today.”

Though some have expressed concern about the shocking nature of the play’s events, Fritz and Rodenbaugh feel sixth grade is the perfect age to make a long-lasting impact.  —V.F.

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