Drug Prevention Youth Group Receives Second Large Grant

The Anderson County High School youth coalition to prevent drug and substance abuse has been awarded a second large grant to pursue their ongoing efforts.

On April 19, the Saving Our Students Youth Coalition was notified of its grant award by Tara McGuire, Kentucky Youth Empowerment System representative from Bluegrass Prevention Center in Lexington.  The new grant totaled $1,485.00 for the 2017-18 school year and will mark the second consecutive year the coalition has received a Kentucky YES grant.

The coalition’s YES grant project for the new school year, called “Teens Empowering Pre-Teens,” will focus on educating for prevention of substance use among middle school and elementary school students.

Some new project activities will include hosting a regional high school and middle school youth summit on substance use and positive behavior as a way to prevent drug addiction, conducting a community assessment on prescription drug abuse, creating and producing public service announcements for encouraging youth to resist substance use, sponsoring a “You Make a Difference” student-teacher-administrator-staff assembly to promote positive social behavior, sponsoring student art and essay contests at Anderson County Middle School, and hosting school assemblies with anti-drug addiction educational opportunities for elementary and middle school students.

A special project will be hosted by the coalition this fall at Anderson County High School for parents of all students in the county.  Called “Hiding in Plain Sight,” the project will feature an interactive activity along with an educational lecture.  It will be provided by law enforcement that seeks to open the eyes of parents and caregivers through an interactive presentation where they can explore a mock teenager’s bedroom and learn about the latest drug trends.

The YES grant funding is provided by the YES Steering Committee through the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Division of Behavioral Health in Frankfort.  The committee seeks to promote healthy lifestyle choices and prevent the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs in Kentucky.  It is dedicated to empowering youth groups with grant funding used to implement strategies that focus on prevention of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD).

Each year  prevention specialists from across Kentucky recognize the efforts and creativity of Kentucky’s young people by honoring an “Outstanding YES Group of the Year,”  The Anderson County S.O.S. Youth Coalition has been nominated for this prestigious award for its 2017 YES grant project entitled “101 Things to Do Besides Drugs.”

The S.O.S. Youth Coalition is sponsored by the ASAP (Agency for Substance Abuse Policy) Board of Anderson County, a group of people representing numerous community entities who work jointly for helping prevent substance abuse and use within the community.  It was created in 2012 to develop a strategic plan in Anderson County for reducing the prevalence of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among youth and adult populations and to coordinate efforts among local agencies in the area of substance abuse prevention and with other interested parties.

(feature image showing Payton Serafini with ASAP board member Donna Drury)

-Written by Donna Crain Drury

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