Denham Springs — High schoolers who want to plan health and safety campaigns in Livingston Parish no longer have to huddle up in coffee shops after being granted a new home of their own.
Last week, the Denham Springs City Council allowed the parish chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions — SADD — to move into a city-owned building at 115 Hummell St., formerly Sharp’s Barber Shop.
The office will allow teens from across the parish to meet for training and coordinate programming, director Dylan Ivy said.
Local SADD clubs host a variety of events, he said. Recent and planned programs include running seat belt relay races in schools, distributing literature on drug and alcohol abuse at events and retailers and holding an annual summer camp for younger children. Other campaigns address bullying and work to curtail texting while driving, Ivy said.
There are clubs at Live Oak, Denham Springs, Walker and Albany high schools, and the parish director hopes to implement similar groups in the other seven high schools. Having a dedicated place for students across the parish will make it easier to meet up, Ivy said.
The new office will help as the program grows and as SADD clubs crop up around Louisiana. The Livingston chapter is state coordinator for the national organization, working as an intermediary between other local groups and SADD headquarters in Massachusetts.
The Livingston chapter recently received a grant from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, but it also accepts donations, and Ivy said several companies have already called asking if they can donate lighting, labor and the like as students renovate the old barbershop.
Follow Steve Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.