The Sallisaw NOW Coalition was recently awarded the Partnerships for Success (PFS) grant for a project that will serve youths ages 9-20 in Sequoyah County. The grant totals $1.5 million over a five-year span.
The goal of the project is to increase prevention infrastructure and reduce youths’ use of alcohol and marijuana. This will be accomplished 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 program anticipates reaching more than 32,000 people over the five-year grant period.
“We are so thrilled to be chosen for this grant,” Amy Edwards, the Sallisaw NOW project director, said.
“Sallisaw NOW was one out of 102 grantees across the nation to receive this funding and we know we will be able to reach many more of the youths in our community with our prevention efforts. We will also be able to provide more of our prescription drug lockboxes free to members of the community that are prescribed controlled medicines, plus so much more,” she said.
“Todd Long (the PFS project director) and I both are privileged to work in our community and want to thank everyone that helped us receive this grant: Our grant administrator, Kristi Allen with Care Consulting Group, plus George Bormann and everyone at the City of Sallisaw. We can’t wait to get started and continue our efforts,” Edwards said.
Sallisaw City Manager Keith Skelton also discussed the funding. “Sallisaw NOW is a very important part of city operations. This award, and other grant funding in place, will ensure the coalition and their programs remain active in our community for several years,” he said.
“We are so proud of Sallisaw NOW and the services they provide to our community and the surrounding area,” Skelton said.
The Sallisaw NOW Coalition was founded in 2005. It is wholly funded by grants and operates with two full-time employees and a board of directors made up of nine citizens from the local community. Sallisaw NOW’s main goal is to maintain strong leadership and strategic partners in order to identify needs and address target issues arising from substance abuse in the local area. The coalition’s primary target is underage youths. With a strong presence in local high schools, the coalition engages youths at a peer-to-peer level in remaining alcohol and drug-free.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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