The ongoing efforts of Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse in the community has been given a boost in the form of a federal DrugFree Communities Support Program grant. The grant will provide $125,000 for the current year and up to $625,000 over the next five years to fund local efforts that work to reduce and prevent substance abuse including prescriptions drugs, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol among youth.
The Battle Ground Prevention Alliance has been working to support youth in drug and alcohol prevention programs since 2014. The coalition is made up of volunteers and partners representing various sectors of the community including schools, parents, youth, business, religious institutions and law enforcement. The mission of the coalition is to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse in the Battle Ground community by building resiliency, strengthening relations and providing education for families and the community.
Last year, the City of Battle Ground formalized its partnership with Prevent Together in applying for the five-year Drug-free Communities grant. The city and the police department have long been involved with the coalition in supporting youth and families through a variety of efforts, including events such as the biannual Drug Take Back Day and National Night Out.
With the successful grant application and formalized partnership, the city now serves as the fiscal agent for the coalition. Battle Ground Police Chief Mike Fort oversees the program’s operations and the work of Program Coordinator Jennifer Kirby. Kirby joined the coalition after the retirement of former Program Coordinator Kathy Deschner in June of this year. Kirby has four years of experience working with youth prevention coalitions in the region and has managed activities for DFC Support Program grants.
“The goal of the prevention coalition is to make our community a safe and drug-free place for youth,” Chief Fort said in a news release. “Prevention is a powerful tool to counteract alcohol, prescription drugs, and other substance abuse. The grant funding will support local programs designed to help youth make positive, healthy choices.”
Anyone interested in being involved with or learning more about Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance is encouraged to contact Kirby at (360) 342-5315 or Jennifer.Kirby@cityofbg.org. Information about the coalition is available on their website at preventtogetherbg.org.
– The Reflector
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