HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Kids in the Hagerstown area got to enjoy a day in the park together with the Hagerstown Police Department (HPD) and the Hagerstown Area Police Athletic League (PAL) in an event they call Play Hard, Live Clean.
“It’s a program we have launched for city middle school students to get them to pledge to be drug, tobacco and alcohol-free,” said Ashley Roush, the program coordinator for HPD as well as a board member for PAL.
Roush says this event is a way to reward kids for picking up healthy habits and avoiding drugs.
“Instead of punishing them, we did a focus group with a group of kids and a lot of times they say that the adults in their life tend to focus more on bad behaviors and things that others kids were doing wrong,” said Roush.
After adopting the idea from Garrett County, HPD and PAL started Play Hard Live, Clean to teach kids that you can have fun without drugs or alcohol.
And the kids in attendance seem to agree.
“I say, next event, more people should come out, it’s going to be fun,” said Ayden Bates.