or the fourth consecutive year, students of James Madison High School's Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) won an award recognizing their efforts against drunk driving. The McLean-based Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) awarded Madison's student group SADD with a plaque and $500.
Madison's SADD was one of six entries from across the metropolitan Washington area to receive the GEICO student award, which recognizes local high school groups striving to promote alcohol and drug-free lifestyles.
"It's an attribute to students who want to make a difference," said John Lingenfelter, SADD sponsor at Madison and assistant director of student activities.
WRAP awarded Madison's SADD on their breadth of activities throughout the year. This year's activities included "Sticker Shock," where students placed stickers warning of underage drinking at area stores, seat belt checks, a canned food drive and a mentoring program with elementary and intermediate students.
Madison's SADD also worked with the parents and the wider Vienna community to prevent underage drinking. "My Gift to You," a pledge card sent to every Madison family, was an agreement for students to call their parents if their driver or themselves had been drinking. Another event, "Saturday Night in the Suburbs," had students explaining to parents how to communicate effectively with their children.
"They involve such a large part of the student body, and then the whole community," said WRAP president Kurt Gregory Erickson, on why Madison's SADD received the GEICO award. "They're very creative, they're very active, all year round."
Students celebrated the winning with a pizza party in the cafeteria. Madison's SADD boasts 143 members from all grades.
"If we can impact one student from making a bad choice, then we feel we've done our job," said SADD president and senior Brittany Rossmeier.