5 Questions with Dr. Carol Birnbohm Superintendent of Schools
Lenape Regional High School District
1.) How long have you been purple?
The Lenape Regional High School District first learned of THP Project Purple Initiative four years ago, when we hosted Chris Herren. This school year we began our district-wide effort to turn our substance free message, “Defy the Issue,” purple, and join THP Project Purple to not only support our students who are substance free, but also to build enthusiasm for Chris’s return.
2.) What activities are you doing this year that you’re most excited about?
Chris Herren spent one week in our school district. He spoke twice at each high school, to ensure every student could hear his message, for a total of eight student presentations.
We hosted a community-wide substance awareness evening, which included Chris Herren’s presentation that was preceded by a Lenape Regional High School District (LRHSD) Drug Expo. Vendors at the LRHSD Drug Expo provided families with information on where to get help, there were recovery coaches in attendance and we had “Hidden in Plain Sight,” set up for community members to tour. “Hidden in Plain Sight,” is a mock teenage bedroom that has many items placed or “hidden,” in the room, which should indicate to parents that their teen might be using substances. Over 750 community members attended the evening event.
Each high school also hosted a purple-themed Friday night football game. Students wearing the THP Project Purple t-shirts gained free admission to the game, the cheerleaders wore the t-shirts and the football fields were painted purple. In addition, many teams throughout the fall season wore purple laces or other items to support THP The Project Purple.
3.) What advice do you have for other schools looking for ideas to bring to their school and communities?
Ensure the Board, the entire Administration and other faculty understands and supports bringing THP Project Purple to your community. Everyone at each different level has great ideas and bringing these ideas together ensures success. Activities should be student-centered too. Student involvement and enthusiasm is key.
4.) Favorite memory from a THP Project Purple Initiative event you have done?
Each time I witnessed our students during and after Chris Herren’s presentations was my favorite part. To hold the attention, move and inspire approximately 6,700 teenagers is awesome.
5.) Favorite piece of THP gear?
Our t-shirts are our favorite because we were able to unify the district, which has four competing high schools, with one t-shirt! Each high school’s shirt has the same front; however, we customized the back of the t-shirt to have our LHRSD “Defy the Issue,” logo and of course, each school’s individual logos.