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Kalkaska County is Using the Natural High Curriculum to Help Local Youth

As part of the Natural High curriculum currently being used at the Kalkaska High School, the Kalkaska Substance Free Coalition partnered with the Kalkaska Conservation District to bring local high school students hiking at the AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies, located in Kalkaska County. Students hiked the trails, relocated a flying squirrel, and created artwork from items found in the environment. The Natural High program is an evidence-based program used in all 50 states. The program uses current scientific findings on youth behavior, brain development, social norms, and substance use prevention. Current scientific research shows the power of positive influential examples, such as athletes, musicians, and artists to create change in culture. The research also shows that when youth find what they are most passionate about, they are more likely to avoid substances. Natural High activities uplift, motivate, and inspire youth. It is important that a youth’s passions be supported, not only by friends and family, but by the community. This curriculum is a perfect addition to current and upcoming community and youth programs being offered by the Kalkaska Substance Free Coalition and the Kalkaska Conservation District. The goal of these programs is to educate youth and the community on healthy alternative activities to substance use and how to “Live Well”.


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