|Prevention in Progress|
By Shari L. Johnson, Director, Calhoun Middle High School Youth Force
In the fall of 2005 the Calhoun Middle High School Youth Force Committee
was formed by stakeholders in the community with a desire to determine
what key problems the community faces and then pursue prevention and
education measures to tackle the issues before they become a problem.
committee received a $25,725 planning grant through the West Virginia
Partnership to Promote Community Well Being. The funding source was
authorized under Section 516 of the Public Health Service Act, the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center
for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).
Fifty-three out of West Virginia's
fifty-five counties received funding.
The purpose of this grant is to spend one year planning the program best
suited for our community in order to address substance abuse related
Community data is compiled and then shared at Monthly Regional
learning opportunities, where members of the CMHS Youth Force join with
community leaders from other counties in the region to discuss successes
and failures in individual communities.
Following this year of planning
the Youth Force should have a strategic plan in place and be in the
running for funding for four years of implementation of the project.
The Youth Force Project is currently active in the community through
projects such as the Town Hall Meetings, educating the community to the
dangers of underage consumption of alcohol, and plans are underway for a
summer school program on substance abuse education.
The Calhoun Middle High School Youth Force Committee is made up of the
following community leaders: David Johnson, 911 Director; James
Garretson, Volunteer Fire Department Board; Matthew Minney, Prosecuting
Attorney; Richard Postalwait, Magistrate; Mike Offutt, Calhoun Middle
High School Principle; Karen Kirby, CMHS Assistant Principle; Carrie
Brainard, Mid Ohio Valley Health Department; Jeffrey Himes, WVU Extension
Agent; Kevin Cunningham, HRDF, Inc.; Craig Gherke, Calhoun EMS; Barbara
McKown, Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center; Sandra Osborne, FRN; Jean
Simers, Heads Up Director; and three students from the Calhoun Middle High
The Calhoun Middle High School Youth Force will meet again on Thursday,
May 4th in the Magistrate Clerk's Office at 10 a.m. Anyone in
the community interested in this project is welcome to attend.