The Stoughton Wellness Coalition (SWC), which works to prevent youth drug and alcohol abuse, has been granted another year of funding.
The SWC receives the majority of its funds through a Drug Free Communities Grant, which they were awarded for the third time Oct. 1.
SWC supports a variety of community and school activities, such as interactive programs and speakers.
“The Drug Free Communities Grant funding allows us to do so much more in preventing youth drug and alcohol use. We’ve been able to hire a coordinator who focuses on building community and school relationships and bringing more activities and programs to our community and schools,” SWC president Cindy McGlynn said in a news release.
At River Bluff Middle School, the SWC has provided funding to help prevent future youth substance abuse in the form of an anti-bullying program called Safe School Ambassadors. With this program, student leaders from different social circles learn the skills to prevent and reduce bullying school-wide.
At both the high school and middle school, the SWC has brought nationally recognized speakers to educate students, staff, parents and community members about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
The SWC also created what it calls a “Hidden in Plain Site” Room, where parents are guided through a mock teenage bedroom to look for items a teenager might use to hide drugs or alcohol in their own rooms.
“Most teenage boys aren’t concerned about how their room smells, so if you find a can of air freshener, you might want to ask some questions,” McGlynn said. “Are they really trying to cover up the smell of dirty socks or is it something else like marijuana?”
Focusing on the community, the SWC has worked with the Stoughton Police Department on alcohol age compliance checks to ensure alcohol is not being sold to minors.
The coalition has advocated for the use of ID scanners at alcohol retailers and purchased portable ID scanners that can be borrowed for special events.
The SWC is made up of representatives from the City of Stoughton, Stoughton Area School District, Stoughton Hospital, the faith community, area businesses, Stoughton Police Department, EMS, substance use prevention and treatment organizations, parents and youth.
The SWC is actively seeking new volunteers from the community.
For information about SWC, visit stoughtonwellnesscoalition.org or find them on Facebook.