IDEA Program Educates Children About Dangers of Drug Abuse

Twice a year, the HBA’s Interprofessional Drug Education Alliance (IDEA) program takes to Houston-area elementary schools, where volunteers teach fifth graders about the legal and medical consequences of drug abuse. The fall IDEA presentation took place on Tuesday, October 23, when Harris County public schools celebrate Red Ribbon Week. Learn more about the program on the IDEA Committee webpage.

A dark-haired woman in a black skirted suit with a white collar stands at the front of a classroom, holding a pair of handcuffs while a slide titled 'What happens if I get in trouble?' is projected on the wall behind her. A male and a female student flank the woman, holding the components of a navy blue jumpsuit. Several children, dressed in different outfits, sit on the floor as a group in the foreground, facing the woman. Many of the children are raising their hands in the air.



Erika Ramirez of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office demonstrates to fifth graders at DeZavala Elementary School the details of incarceration, one of the many legal consequences of drug abuse.




A man in a white lab coat and gray trousers stands near the middle of a classroom. He gestures at an illuminated SmartBoard on the left side of the image. Several children in gray sit at wooden, square tables surrounding the man; most are looking at either the man or the SmartBoard.




Dr. Mac Light exposes the harsh medical truths about drug abuse to fifth graders at Jefferson Elementary School.




A man in a black suit stands in the center of the frame, both of his arms in the air. Children dressed in different outfits sit at individual desks on either side of him, all looking in his direction and some raising their hands. The man is looking to the right at one of the students. A slide is projected onto the whiteboard behind him.




Scott Durfee of the Harris County DA’s Office interacts with Osborn Elementary students at the beginning of his presentation on the legal effects of drugs.




A woman in a long white coat and red hat stands in the background, facing the camera and pointing to a screen projected behind her. The screen shows two sets of lungs, the left normal, the right ill and damaged. Several children, mostly wearing red or blue, sit on the floor in the foreground, facing away from the camera and toward the woman.




Dr. Amarilis Vega explains to fifth graders at Shadow Oaks Elementary School what damage drug abuse can cause to various body parts.




A woman in a patterned dress stands in the background to the left, looking to the right. Behind her is a blue projected slide that reads, 'What are some of the drug laws?' Children in various outfits sit at wooden tables, populating the rest of the room. Most children are looking at the woman.




Piney Point Elementary fifth graders learn from Jessica Platt (Fowler Rodriguez) about some of the laws that would affect them if they ever came to abuse drugs.




Two adults, a man and a woman, are at the back of a large group of children, all standing together in the middle-ground and smiling at the camera. In front of the group are rows of long tables. Behind them is a small stage with a screen projector that reads, 'IDEA program.'




Dr. Arindam Sarkar and IDEA Committee 2018-19 Co-Chair Daniella Landers pose with the fifth grade class at MacGregor Elementary.




“Thanks for including us every year. I am glad we are able to partner together to arm our fifth graders every year with this important drug awareness and prevention information. A different set of fifth graders get this information before they head out into middle school where the dynamics are different and the school environment is not as contained. I think it helps them make better choices as they move to middle school and beyond. Again, thank you and thanks to all the professionals that make this program possible.”

— Lashawnda Harris, Lyons Elementary School, HISD

Thank You to the Fall 2018 IDEA Volunteers
District Elementary School Medical Professional(s) Legal Professional(s)
Channelview Cobb Dr. Nindisha Anireddy Kene Chinweze
Channelview Crenshaw Dr. Linh Hoang & Dr. Hesham Mohamed Amber Joachim
Channelview DeZavala Dr. Cathy Xie Erika Ramirez
HISD Jefferson Dr. Mac Light Meagan Scott
HISD Lyons Dr. Gisele Urrutibeheity & Dr. Stephanie Vachirasudlekha Hon. Clarinda Comstock & Angelica Hernandez
HISD MacGregor Dr. Arindam Sarkar Daniella Landers
HISD Osborn Dr. Mohammad Khoaja Scott Durfee
HISD Piney Point Dr. Reginald Nguyen & Dr. Liliana Rueda Michael Von Blon & Jessica Platt
Pasadena Meador Dr. Stephanie Nguyen & Dr. Maggie Barghash Rehana Vohra & Derick Mendoza
Spring Branch Shadow Oaks Dr. Sarah Ansari & Dr. Amarilis Vega Margaret Wittenmyer & Emmie Proctor