Prescription Drug Take Back Day (Bi-Annual) 



Initiated in April 2012, North Castle Cares coalition partnered with the North Castle Police Department to promote the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Presecription drug take back days offer a safe and legal way to dispose of unused, expired or unwanted medications thereby limiting youth access to prescription drugs. This event occurs twice a year and is publicized on our website.





Pizza Sticker Campaign 


On January 31st, 2012, the Friday before Super Bowl Sunday, Peer Leaders and students from the SADD Club from Byram Hills High School worked in collaboration with North Castle Cares coalition and a local pizza establishment to place stickers on four hundred pizza boxes in an effort to raise awareness about underage drinking in Westchester County.

This “sticker campaign” highlights a recent survey conducted by the Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth that revealed that 71% of high school students find it “easy” or “very easy” to access alcohol.  That’s about as easy as getting a pizza.  And the easier it is to get alcohol, the more likely youth are to drink and to suffer the consequences of drinking, including car crashes, academic struggles, unplanned/unwanted sexual activity, hangovers, fights, and possible overdose and addiction. The purpose of this campaign is to support parents in their efforts to help prevent underage drinking. This campaign continues as an annual event.


Youth Speak Out

Youth Speak OutIn the process of forming the North Castle Community Coalition one of the first events we organized was a Youth Speak Out. This event was designed to invite students of our community into a planning process to make sure that the coalition was responsive to their needs right from the beginning. The NCCC hosted a lunch at Byram Hills High School and invited 30 students and an equal number of adults from the community to attend.

The event was facilitated by Student Assistance Services. Students and adults were seated in groups and were given a series of questions and concerns to discuss. The adults were then asked to listen to the students’ responses to these questions. Once each group completed their discussion, each group presented their most important concern.

The results of this experience have been and continue to be used in the planning process of the NCCC.


Food for Thought

unnamedThe “Food for Thought” campaign was aimed at using family meals to create family norms conducive to prevention. Initiated in 2014 as a post on the website about the benefits of family meals not only for family bonding but also to open lines of communication and discussion on the issue of substance abuse prevention as well as on achieving good grades. This was followed by a series of conversation starters to use at mealtime to engage children and parents in open dialogue.  To augment the posts, coalition members met with restaurateurs throughout North Castle to enlist their help in a marketing campaign where families would receive discounts on their meals if they ate out together on specified days during the week.  Six restaurants agreed and the coalition promoted the event through Facebook, the website, fliers and tent cards at the restaurants. All of these promotional items contained a ‘QR code’ which would bring the visitors to the website where they could download the coupon for use at the participating restaurants.

To further promote family mealtime conversations, the coalition entered into collaboration with a local Boy Scout Troop to create wooden boxes to hold cell phones during mealtime. These boxes built by the Boy Scouts, were adorned with a sticker:   “Family Time – Disconnect to Reconnect.” All materials to make the boxes were donated by local merchants. This project further supported the goal of communication during family meals. In each box, there is a brief message from the coalition and a number of different conversation starters. The coalition joined the Boy Scouts at a local spring festival in town to display the boxes and take orders.

4-20 Campaign

IMG_0905April 20th is an un-official holiday celebrating the smoking of marijuana. On or around 4:20 pm on this day marijuana is consumed. North Castle Cares coalition, the Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth, and the Westchester County Office of Drug Prevention and STOP-DWI, collaborate each year to create a marijuana prevention event.






Holiday Campaign

IMG_2212The parent survey data indicated that parents are most likely to talk to youth around a specific event.  In response to this, the coalition created a holiday message postcard for distribution at the annual ‘Frosty the Snowman Day in Armonk’ (the author of the children’s book was from Armonk and the town puts on a series of events and a parade the first week of December).  The postcard contains the “play on words” phrase “There is no better present than the time you spend with your family during the holidays” and emphasizes the importance of talking to children early and often about alcohol and drug use. The postcard encourages parents to go to the coalition’s website which contains posts on things to do as a family during the holidays.


“Get Dressed Up Not Messed Up”

For prom season, the coalition distributed pocket sized information cards entitled  “Get Dressed Up, Not Messed Up” to all students attending the prom. The cards contained information on what to look for and what to do if a friend has an alcohol overdose.

Youth-Driven Public Service Announcements

bobcat tvThe coalition, working with high school students over a two month period, created a public service announcement dealing with the dangers of marijuana called “Don’t Smoke Your Life Away.” This was collaboration with the school’s television company Bobcat TV, parents and the Armonk Fire Department. The video was shown to the middle school students, followed by a question and answer period with high school youth involved in the project. The video was aired  on the coalition website as well as on Cablevision. 

We are hoping for this to be a yearly endeavor with the coalition engaging local youth to create prevention messaging for their peers.