Wait! Don’t click off the blog yet!
Subcommittees are where we get our work done. So far, we’ve blogged about the Advertising and Social Marketing subcommittee (officially, the ID or Information Dissemination subcommittee), and the Party-Patrol subcommittee (officially, the Environmental subcommittee). Today’s blog is about the third and final one, the Coalition Building subcommittee.
What Do We Do?
As the name states, the Coalition Building subcommittee is responsible for building and continuing the coalition. We do this in a number of ways: by keeping our Facebook page and website updated, keeping our new member’s package current, and helping out the other two subcommittees wherever we can.
This year, however, we have an even more exciting responsibility; we’re working to pilot a prevention program focused on 6th and 7th grade Buckeye students.
The pilot program came about because WOW shifted from a one-substance coalition (alcohol), to a three-substance coalition (alcohol, marijuana, and Rx drugs).
During this shift, WOW coalition staff realized a one-time student presentation for each substance wouldn’t be effective for long-term change. Instead, we decided to build a pilot-program that focused not only on the substances, but on the common issues that drive youth to use them.
The program included presentations for parents and teachers, to help them learn how to guide teenagers towards making good decisions about substance use. So, where have we gone with it?
A couple of months into building the program, it became apparent we were reinventing the wheel. Someone else had to have already built a similar program—at least the youth portion. After some research, the Coalition Building subcommittee settled on a prevention program called Project Alert.
According to their website,
The Project ALERT curriculum was developed and field tested over a ten-year period by RAND, the nation’s leading think tank on drug policy. RAND research demonstrates that teens have a mindset about drugs. By shifting the pro-drug mindset, students of Project ALERT administrators have benefited from these measurable results:
- 40% drop in students already experimenting with cigarettes in becoming regular smokers
- 24% lower alcohol misuse score
- 20% reduction of highest risk early drinkers
- 20 to 25% decrease in cigarette use during the past month
- 33 to 55% decrease in regular and heavy usage of cigarettes
- 60% decrease in current marijuana use
Project ALERT is also proud to be the recipient of near perfect scores on the US government’s own review process, the NREPP (National Registry of Evidence based Programs and Practices). These scores and results confirm that Project ALERT is grounded in solid science and easy to effectively implement in the classroom. But most importantly, they show that your ability to help students make the right decisions about drugs isn’t just possible, it’s proven.
Currently, the subcommittee is working with one of its members to test the program in a Buckeye school, pending approval from the district.
So, What Have We Accomplished?
Overall, the subcommittee had three main tasks this year: create and continue a blog (part of keeping the website current), produce the youth portion of the pilot program, and update the new-member’s kit.
The blog is up and running (as you can read!), the pilot program is on its way, and the new member’s kit is scheduled to be discussed in May’s subcommittee meeting. So, we’re on target to accomplish all of our tasks for the year!
If you’re interested in helping us with these projects, or anything else that we do, then please contact us through our website.