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Carter County Drug Prevention one of 60 in nation to receive grant

Contributed • Oct 29, 2019 at 9:45 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Carter County Drug Prevention is one of 60 programs in 32 states and the District of Columbia awarded a grant to expand opportunities for students in after-school programs — particularly those from low- and moderate-income communities — to learn civic and 21st century skills by leading community service or service-learning projects.

Nationwide, nearly 9,000 students — 95% from underserved communities — will have the opportunity and support to find their voice, take action and make an impact in their schools and communities.

Locally, with a $500 grant from The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation along with training and support from Youth Service America, Carter County Drug Prevention’s Youth Coalition will enhance programs developed in partnership with Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, including, but not limited to eSports and skateboarding afternoon clubs as well as opportunities for sporting skill development with the Witten Huddle.

Involved students requiring more support than can be provided in afternoon clubs will also have opportunities to be matched with mentors through additional funding received by the National Recreation and Parks Association.

“We are thrilled to support after-school programs that, in addition to serving youth, have committed to asking youth to serve their communities,” said Steven A. Culbertson, president and CEO of YSA.

“Studies show youth in underserved communities have fewer opportunities than their peers in more affluent communities to take part in service projects,” he said. “Students participating in such projects benefit by learning and practicing the problem-solving skills they need to be successful in school, work, and life. A student cannot do an effective service project without practicing the skills of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. Along with gaining job skills, this kind of civic engagement in childhood also leads to lifelong volunteering, voting, and philanthropy.”

“We know the effects adverse childhood experiences have on children and we will continue striving to shift negative experiences to positive ones in our community,” Carter County Drug Prevention Director Jilian Reece said.

“We are so grateful for this funding to assist us in reaching even more students with opportunities for growth and development through after-school programs in our community.”