The Sallisaw NOW Coalition was recently awarded the Partnerships for Success Grant, which will total $1.5 million over five years.
The project’s goal is to increase the prevention infrastructure and reduce youths’ use of alcohol and marijuana and it will focus on people ages 9-20.
The coalition plans to meet their goal through implementation of the Strategic Prevention Framework process, as well as evidence-based environmental strategies such as high-visibility enforcement of social host laws and retailer education.
The following objectives will be accomplished with the program: Increasing active participation in the coalition to its 160 members and increasing the capacity to implement policy-based, community-level approaches as measured by 65 percent of adult coalition members attending training.
The program also seeks to increase youths’ capacity to implement strategies as measured by 75 percent of young coalition membership participating in training; to decrease the percentage of youths saying they obtained alcohol from “someone I know 21 or older” to 54 percent for 10th-graders and 48 percent for 12th-graders; to decrease the percentage of youths reporting they obtained alcohol from a store to 7 percent for 10th-graders and 10 percent for 12th-graders; to decrease past 30-day alcohol use among students in grades 6-12 to 16 percent; and to decrease past 30-day marijuana use among students in grades 6-12 to 7 percent.
The total population of Sequoyah County is 42,391, but demographics within the community differ between young people and older people.
Many senior citizens call Sequoyah County home, and their population, about 62 percent, is mostly white, followed by Native American (20%) and the remainder are Hispanic or of two or more races.
The youth population in the school district, on the other hand, is primarily Native American (40%), followed by white (39%), youths belonging to two or more races (11%), Hispanic (8%), African American (2%) and Asian (1%).
“We anticipate serving 10,000 people each year and reaching a total of 32,000 people through the life of the project,” said Amy Edwards, project director.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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