MADISON — Students in about 100 public schools and school districts will join projects and activities to fight alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, improve traffic safety, and reduce violence in and around schools.
Funding for 2015-16 school year grants, administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, totals more than $940,000 and comes from the penalty surcharge from traffic fines and forfeitures. Student activities originate from two grant programs: competitive alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) grants and student mini-grants.
“Students can be their own best teachers,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers in commending students and districts for applying for grants. “When our young people create solutions to the problems of alcohol and drug use or other risky behaviors, they become part of a school environment that supports healthy and resilient students.”
State AODA grants were awarded to 64 individual school districts and four consortium projects, which included 25 member districts. The $866,326 in first-year grants support the development and expansion of comprehensive alcohol and other drug abuse prevention and early intervention programming as part of a coordinated school health program. Prevention programs are designed to help students avoid or minimize future problems related to alcohol and other drug use, while intervention programs are designed to help students who are already experiencing problems. Grant recipients incorporated such evidenced-based interventions as Prevent, Reaffirm, Evaluate, Provide and Respond, and Examine (PREPaRE) training to improve school safety and the Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program to address student AODA use. Grant recipients can reapply for a second year of funding.
An additional $74,508 in student AODA mini-grants, for up to $1,000 each, were awarded to 82 student groups from 63 different school districts. Each student group wrote the application for a mini-grant and will implement the proposed program. Project activities include making peers aware of positive social norms, combating bullying, promoting healthy drug-free activities, and training student leaders to positively impact their peers.
NOTE: A list of districts receiving state AODA and student mini-grants is in the official news release.