The Saratoga Partnership for Prevention is a coalition of community leaders, organizations, and citizens interested in decreasing youthful substance use, supporting families through the teen years, developing better relationships between youth and adults, and building family and community norms against drug use in the upstate New York community of Saratoga Springs. For more information contact Jennifer Wood (518) 581-123- ext. 3610.
All Stars Camp
A week-long day camp for fifth graders entering Maple Avenue Middle School in the fall, All Stars Camp features arts and crafts, sports, life skills workshops, and nine interactive All-Stars workshops. In these curriculum workshops, kids set goals for the future and promise to make smart choices to achieve those goals. Students are able to make new friends from different elementary schools throught the district, and also get acclimated to their new building before school starts in September. More
Bi-Annual Youth Surveys
Every other year, the Partnership administers a comprehensive survey to 7-12 graders in the Saratoga Springs City School District to gauge their opinions about drug use, risky behaviors, and how connected they feel to their families, school, and community. The Partnership has administered this survey – and a similar one for parents – since 2000. Survey results are used to help plan prevention programs throughout the community and gauge the effectiveness of these efforts.
Parent University is a community collaboration between the Saratoga Springs City School District and the Saratoga Partnership for Prevention. Recognizing that caring parents and families who are equipped with necessary knowledge and skills are essential to a student’s success, Parent University offers opportunities for parents and caregivers to continue their learning. More
Toga True-Social Norms Camapaign
In Fall of 2013 the Saratoga Partnership for Prevention launched its Social Norms Campaign, “Toga True,” in conjunction with the Saratoga Springs City School District. The campaign promotes the fact that the majority of teenagers do not drink alcohol or use marijuana, which goes against the common perception that most do.
Throughout this campaign, a variety of posters are displayed in the high school buildings; these posters display a variety of statistics from the Prevention Needs Assessment that students took in November 2012. The results of that survey demonstrated that the majority of high school students are in fact making healthy and safe choices by resisting alcohol and marijuana use.
By changing the misperception among teenagers that all of their peers are drinking or smoking weed, fewer teens will then participate in use of these substances. According to Dr. Wesley Perkins, Professor of Sociology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, social norms are fundamental to human behavior. There is a strong tendency for humans to conform to what their peers are doing, and misperceptions can easily be translated into fact when a group of people erroneously believe a risky behavior to be the norm. Studies conducted on college campuses where social norms campaigns were conducted showed significant decreases in alcohol use among the student population as they began to accurately understand that the majority of their peers were not drinking.