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April 20, 2018

The start of summer is a good time for 21st CCLC programs to focus on prevention. Why? Because most first-time use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco among adolescents under age 18 happens in June or July. This finding comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health. During these months, young people are usually out of school, with more free time and less adult supervision than usual. 
 
That’s why National Prevention Week is held during the third week of May each year. The purpose is to bring together communities and organizations across the country to raise awareness about the importance of substance abuse prevention and mental health. To get involved, consider partnering with your school to host prevention-themed events before the school year ends. 
 
There are many ways your program can raise awareness about this important issue among students and their families. Here are a few ideas and resources from the Y4Y Family Engagement course:
  • Direct families to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, where they can get information and resources or call 1-800-DRUGFREE to talk with a trained parent counselor. If their child is struggling with substance abuse, the counselor can help them develop an action plan.
  • Download tip sheets and other customizable materials to share with families from SAMHSA’s campaign against underage drinking, Talk. They Hear You. Also, let families know about an app called Start the Talk. Parents can use this interactive app to learn the do’s and don’ts of talking with young people about underage drinking. (Your program staff might find it helpful as well!)
  • Refer families to the National Institute on Drug Abuse Family Checkup website, where they can learn about five critical parenting skills that are linked to drug-free childhood, youth development and healthy family relationships. The checkup includes a video clip with positive and negative examples of each skill, such as handling emotional conflicts, along with additional information and videos parents can use for practice.
 
Additional resources to support your program’s efforts around drug and alcohol prevention are available on Y4Y.
 
Prevention, of course, is a year-round concern. The work your program does every day to strengthen community, school and family bonds can help protect young people from substance abuse.


August 31, 2015

The Summer Institute (July 27-29) rounded up plenty of learning opportunities for out-of-school time professionals. Topic strands included family and community engagement, STEM, literacy, improving program quality, serving students with disabilities and more. Whether you were “back in the saddle” with us in Dallas or home at the ranch, you can review Y4Y sessions and get handouts and other materials. Find the Y4Y training team’s three presentations (in PDF) and associated handouts on the 2015 Summer Institute page.

Y4Y Session: Empowering Youth to Actively Participate in Prevention

This session — available as a video recording — describes how to use Y4Y resources to enhance implementation of afterschool drug and alcohol prevention programs. Learn how drug and alcohol use affect student achievement, explore interactive activities that are designed for grades K-12, and develop strategies for engaging families and building partnerships around prevention. 

During the session, participants learned how to find their state’s drug control update (see the “Texas Drug Control Update” handout for an example) to get a snapshot of local drug and alcohol issues that programs can use to focus their prevention efforts. To access the update for your state, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp and click “Policy and Research” and then “State and Local Information.”

Participants also brainstormed ideas for project-based learning and explored K-12 activities they could use right away to engage students and their families around prevention. “The Amazing Brain” and “Protecting Your Brain” are two of the Brain Power modules from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These address elementary-age students and incorporate learning in both science and prevention. The modules for middle school students combine short, informative student “magazines,” such as Weeding Out the Grass, with games that check their understanding, such as “Marijuana Bingo.” For high school youth, “Heads Up: Real News about Drugs and Your Body” provides fun activities that provide openings for deeper discussions about drug and alcohol prevention.

Y4Y Session: Investing in Family Engagement

Building family engagement in your program is easily worth the investment of time, energy and resources when you see the value in terms of student success. Use the materials from this session to explore best practices for improving and developing relationships with families.

During the session, participants watched the “Benefits of Family Engagement” video, then discussed what they already do and what they would like to do. After brainstorming about common challenges to family engagement, they used the “Overcoming Challenges” tool to identify possible underlying causes and potential solutions. Participants also used Y4Y tools to reflect on strategies to develop a more welcoming program environment for all families and begin some action planning around ways to support families and focus staff training on specific family engagement goals.  Find all the tools and resources from this session onon the Summer Institute page.

Y4Y Session: Building Literacy Through Fun and Games (Grades K-5)

Literacy after school can incorporate play that helps students gain critical academic and 21st century skills. This session helped participants see how to improve understanding of the building blocks of literacy and implement engaging literacy activities such as a vocabulary parade, finger play, poetry and song, and a picture walk.

Participants watched the “What is Literacy” video and discussed what it means to be literate in this technological age. As they reviewed the five components of reading, participants tried out phonemic awareness and phonics activities (from “Phonemic Awareness Activities”) and took part in a “Vocabulary Parade,” using Tier 2 words from the Word Up Project Lists as inspiration for their costumes. Participants viewed The True Story of the Three Little Pigs “reader’s theatre” example from Y4Y and shared how they practiced reading fluency in their programs. The session ended with a review of different Before, During and After activities to support comprehension (from “Comprehension Activities”) and effective questioning strategies. Participants were encouraged to think about how to incorporate literacy learning throughout the program day (using “Literacy Everywhere”).  Find all the tools and resources from this session on the Summer Institute page.

 



May 12, 2014

Join us for our next Coffee Break webinar on Tuesday, May 20, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern (10:00-11:00 a.m. Pacific) on Drug and Alcohol Prevention with Y4Y.

Learn more about the new Drug and Alcohol Prevention resources that are now available on Y4Y, gain ideas for integrating Drug and Alcohol Prevention activities into your program, and discuss real world strategies for working with staff, students, and families on this important subject.

Your host for the webinar will be Monique McDowell-Russell, Y4Y Training Specialist. As with all of our Coffee Break webinars there will be plenty of time for interaction with your colleagues and Q&A with the Y4Y team, so bring your questions, bring your coffee, and join the conversation on May 20.

All Y4Y webinars are free so register today!

[Ed. note: a recording of this webinar is available in the Y4Y Webinar Archive.]

 



April 11, 2014

Join us on Tuesday, April 15, at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern)/10:00 a.m. (Pacific) for an expert webinar on Drug and Alcohol Prevention with Y4Y. Our guest speakers will be David Mineta, Deputy Director of Demand Reduction in the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and Aaron White, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and your host will be Monique McDowell-Russell.

We’ll review some of the latest information from ONDCP about drug and alcohol use among young people, discuss ways to decrease the risk of a variety of negative consequences, and learn how afterschool and Y4Y can be used to help shape youth opinions regarding some of the risks involved.

All Y4Y webinars are free so register today!



March 24, 2014

Last month we were proud to announce in this space the release of new content on the Y4Y portal pertaining to drug and alcohol prevention resources for your program staff. The Department of Education partnered with the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in the Executive Office of the President to guide the creation of this new content.

A vast amount of information is now available from the Tools page, including links to many excellent websites that contain information, definitions, statistics, trainings, and activities to help your staff learn about and address this sensitive subject with our youth. Just click the link in the sidebar to access the Drug and Alcohol Prevention resources.

For example, you can access the Above the Influence website where among many other things you can find a comprehensive list of almost two dozen substances that your youth may be encountering. Some of the substances on the list may have familiar sounding names, but others may be less well known to you: things like bath salts, GHB, and salvia, among others. Along with detailed descriptions of each substance, its risks and effects, you’ll also learn about the nicknames many drugs have.