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Anti-drug campaign looks to team with Norwin schools

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

A local drug awareness nonprofit organization hopes to team up with Norwin School District in an effort to keep students from using drugs.

Irwin-based Sage's Army hopes to bring its anti-drug message to children across the Norwin School District.

Carmen Capozzi, 46, formed the organization after his son, Sage Capozzi, 19, died on March 5, 2012, of a heroin overdose, to bring awareness to drug problems among teens and create better lines of communication between parents, their children, law enforcements and educators.

He hopes to reach as many children as possible, and inform them about why they should avoid drugs, Capozzi said.

“We want to create leaders, and show kids that it's cool not to do drugs,” Capozzi told the school board recently. “I'm here to do whatever the district needs me to do, and I'll do anything if that means I save even one life.”

Board member Dennis Rittenhouse said he, and other board members, attended the Norwin Reality Tour at JB's Bright Beginnings, which includes information from Sage's Army. The anti-drug and anti-alcohol program features real stories and scenarios from young people using drugs and alcohol.

Board president Robert Perkins said the district is willing to work with Sage's Army, and is open to any suggestions Capozzi may have on reaching students.

“This is a serious problem a lot of people deny is in our area, but it is in our area,” Perkins said.

Capozzi suggested using the schools' announcements as a platform to reach children, by delivering anti-drug and awareness messages each day. He also hopes to develop a program in each school for students to talk to teachers or other adults about drugs, Capozzi said.

Sage's Army holds community meetings on the second Thursday of the month at 6 p.m., at Calvary Baptist Church, 101 Caruthers Lane, Irwin.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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