Some of the best curriculum comes through local partnerships

(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on this and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

Feb. 29, 2020 — On Friday, Feb. 21, the students of Siuslaw Middle School and Siuslaw High School were treated to a special presentation by guest speaker Kevin Alter.

This presentation was an opportunity for students to hear not only the dangers of drug addiction from someone that has experienced that tragedy and is now helping others in their recovery, but also to never start down the path to addiction.

Mr. Alter’s real-life account was gripping and powerful for all who were present. 

The follow up conversations with students on the gym floor at the end were genuine and heartfelt.

Many times, some of the best curriculum enhancements and messages come to the school through partnerships in cooperation with local businesses and civic groups.

Mr. Alter’s presentation would not have been possible without the dedicated work of several individuals in the community and the financial backing of PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Hospital, Soroptomist International of Florence, Florence Elks Lodge 1858, Kiwanis Club of Florence, Rotary Club of Florence and The Shippin’ Shack.

When you are out and about, please take time to thank anyone you might know from these community organizations and businesses for their part in helping to deliver a unique and positive learning experience to the students.

This effort led to students hearing a great message on a critical topic that could impact their future beyond school and for years to come. 

At times, all it takes is the idea of one person — and some leg work — to get a great idea off the ground.  One middle school parent, Jennifer Lindell, is also appreciated for her efforts to spearhead the planning and logistics for Mr. Alter’s presentation for the students.

Additional information on Kevin Alter, his personal journey and his efforts to help those recovering from substance abuse can be found on his website,
The Addict’s Diary, at


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