FOCUS names AHS ‘school of the year’

Published 2:50 am Wednesday, May 18, 2016


A group that promotes the prevention of teen pregnancy and other risky adolescent behaviors has named Andalusia High School its school of the year, a designation which carries a $500 prize.

FOCUS promotes school and community partnerships for the prevention of Teen Pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, STDs, and other adolescent risk behaviors.

The program is based on a student led approach and seeks to promote youth involvement in the planning of prevention activities. FOCUS is being replicated throughout the State of Alabama.

Andalusia High School was recognized for the work of Peer Helpers, a program facilitated at AHS by Charlotte Spurlin.

Spurlin said the group submitted a video detailing Peer Helpers’ work.

“We started our video with Rachel Dayton and RJ Carrasco sitting in the library discussing RJ recently becoming a Peer Helper and Rachel telling him what all we do,” she said. “The go-pro, mounted on a yearbook page of Peer Helpers and FOCUS student activities circulates through the library focusing on these activities (shown on collages of event pictures).”

The group began the school year with a new student luncheon in September, and also began a Safe Driving Campaign that month. A video for that campaign came close to winning a $100,000 prize in State Farm’s competition.

Throughout the year, they’ve done campaigns to raise awareness of issues, including a marijuana myth buster campaign; a healthy relationships campaign, and a good choices campaign with a focus on being safe at prom and through spring break.

FOCUS is supported by the Alabama State Department of Education, Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS), Executive Director of School Superintendents of Alabama (SSA), Truman Pierce Institute of Auburn University, community based organizations, and local education associations.