NEW PHILADELPHIA Agencies in three area counties have received grants from the state to strengthen school-based alcohol and drug prevention programs.
The Building Youth Resiliency grants are a part of Start Talking!, Ohio’s new youth drug prevention initiative. The program is a partnership between the Office of the First Lady, the Governor’s Office of Faith-Base Initiatives and the departments of Aging, Job and Family Services and Mental Health and Addiction Services and targets at-risk students in grades five through nine.
In Tuscarawas County, Personal and Family Counseling Services is receiving a grant of $12,875 to provide the Botvin LifeSkills Training Program to 190 fifth- and sixth-grade students in Newcomerstown Exempted Village Schools and Conotton Valley Union Local Schools.
The program will begin in the 2014-15 school year.
Jodi Salvo, coordinator of the Taking It to the Schools program, said Botvin is the leading school-based prevention education program used in the U.S.
Facilitators from Personal and Family Counseling meet with students once a week for eight weeks. Each week, they discuss a different topic, such as self-esteem and assertiveness.
On the eighth week, parents or caregivers are invited to come to the school for a graduation ceremony, she said. “It gives us the opportunity to show the parents what we discussed.”