Story by Staff Report

The Coalition for a Healthy Darke County will again offer grants for K-12 youth substance abuse prevention education in Darke County. The Coalition has awarded $63,000 in the past three years.

Coalition President Peggy Emerson stated, “Students spend the most of their day in school. Education provided in schools can have an instrumental role in educating children and teens about the potential implications of their actions and behaviors.”

Coalition grants provide funding for programs and projects specific to the needs of our individual schools. Many community partners contribute to the Coalition to fund the substance abuse prevention education grants. Those partners include Darke County Common Pleas Court, Darke County Foundation, Darke County United Way, Premier Health, Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services, Wayne HealthCare and Wayne HealthCare Foundation as well as individual donations.

In 2021, these grants were able to underwrite two visits from nationally recognized speaker, Robert Hackenson, Jr.  During May he presented on the dangers of vaping at Versailles, Arcanum, Tri-Village, Mississinawa, Ansonia, ACES, and Greenville Schools. He also held three public evening meetings for parents and the community.

Emerson also serves as the president of the Darke County Chamber of Commerce and indicated that investing in substance abuse prevention education for our children at an early age may benefit our businesses and communities in the long term. “Our long-term goal is to change the culture in Darke County. We hope to see a difference in the health of our future workforce in Darke County in the next 10-12 years by starting substance abuse prevention education now,” she said.

The grant application can be found at www.coalitiondarkecounty.com.  The deadline to apply is January 20, 2022.

This article was written by someone else and submitted to Darke County Now for publication.

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