Think, Don’t Drink, Alcohol Prevention and Awareness Program

County: Guilford

Grantee:Communities in Schools of High Point, Inc.

Title: Think, Don't Drink, Alcohol Prevention and Awareness Program

Description: The “Think, Don't Drink, Alcohol Prevention and Awareness Program” led by Communities in Schools of High Point will focus on the “whole child” to ensure that they learn to make healthy choices related to alcohol and illegal substances. In collaboration with 9 Guilford County schools, program activities will include: alcohol and substance abuse programming, character-building, health fairs, and fitness activities, affecting over 1,500 students in grades 3 thru 12. CIS Site Support Specialists will start and run “Healthy Mind & Body Clubs” at nine sites. These clubs will be responsible for School/Community Empowerment Health Fairs at targeted elementary, middle, and high school sites. Alcohol prevention and education will be the primary focus for each fair. Site Support Specialists will distribute alcohol prevention literature to parents and students participating in the program. Agencies that focus on the dangers of substance abuse and alcohol will be invited to host display booths at each fair. Site Support Specialists will also coordinate character and self-esteem-building, nutrition, and related fitness activities at each school. Funding will also be used for training that strengthens supportive skills for our youth.

School sites and students will receive recognition for creative programs and student participation at the CIS-HP End-of-Year Banquet where keynote speakers will tell their personal story about how they conquered the dangers of alcohol. At the event, the ABC Board will be recognized for its contribution to our program. Wristbands will also recognize the Think, Don't Drink program with the ABC Board as the funding source.

Why This Project Was Chosen: CIS-HP fulfills its mission by "connecting needed community resources to schools to help kids stay in school and prepare for life." They are able to achieve this by coordinating desperately needed resources; mentoring, tutoring, health care, family strengthening, career development, summer, and after-school programs, drop­out prevention, service-learning and much more-right into High Point public schools.

Who This Project Impacted: CIS-HP serves nearly 6,000 children in kindergarten through 12th grades at 10 High Point schools that have high numbers of students impacted by poverty and poor academic performance. Over 70% of the students served receive free and reduced lunch, (a federal poverty indicator). Each school employs a CIS Site Support Specialist who oversees and manages volunteer mentors, tutors and school partnerships formed with area businesses, churches, civic groups, and agencies.

Results of Project: The High Point ABC Board supports helps maintain funds in the critical cost of "Last Dollar'' Scholarships for seniors enrolled in the CIS-HP 21st Century Scholars Program. This is a college and career preparatory program for students. Students who have been accepted into 2-year and/or 4-year colleges or universities can apply for scholarships. Funding supports "last dollar'' scholarships for high school seniors from High Point Central and T.W. Andrews from low to moderate incomes that do not qualify for federal college assistance. "Last Dollar'' Scholarships provide financial assistance from $300 to $1000 to fill in gaps of unaffordable, pre-college and emergency college needs during college, for i.e. books, initial deposits and unexpected fees. Students must complete an essay entitled, “Why Young People Must Think before they Drink" as the criteria for receiving the scholarship. Of the students awarded scholarships, 100% go on to additional years of school and have a 99% graduation rate. 93% showed improved attendance during this time.