Saturday, August 27, 2011
Letter to the Editor
The Saratoga Partnership for Prevention, a program of The Prevention Council, would like to send its sincere thanks to the administrators, office staff and custodians at Maple Avenue Middle School for their help and cooperation in carrying out the 10th annual All Stars Summer Camp (formerly known as the D.A.R.E. All Stars Camp).
The camp, a collaborative effort between the Saratoga Springs City School District, The Prevention Council and the Saratoga Springs Police Department, was begun in 2002 to help ease the transition from elementary to middle school. Each year, campers tour the middle school, meet kids from other Saratoga elementary schools, hear about the middle school from older students, and become more prepared for the year ahead. They participate in team-building activities, adventure-based games, sports, dance, music and crafts.
They also take part in the award-winning All Stars curriculum, which has been proven to show long-lasting results in reducing alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, violence and sexual activity among middle school students.
The Saratoga Partnership for Prevention is a coalition of community leaders, organizations and citizens who are concerned about substance use among young people in our community.
Since 2000, when the Partnership was first formed, efforts like the
All Stars Camp have contributed to steadily declining alcohol and substance use rates among young people in the community.
In 2000, when the first youth survey was conducted with middle- and high- school-aged youth, 55 percent reported alcohol use within the past 30 days.
In 2010, when the most recent survey was conducted, that number had dropped to 39 percent.
National research has shown that substance- abuse rates diminish and the perception of harm increases when young people hear consistent no-use messages at home, at school and in their communities. We’re lucky to have so many people and organizations working toward this end right here in Saratoga.
All community members are welcome and encouraged to join the partnership. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month during the school year. For more information, go to www.preventioncouncil.org and click on the coalitions tab.
Maureen Cary, Saratoga Partnership for Prevention coordinator, The Prevention Council