The ongoing efforts of Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse in the Battle Ground community has been given a boost in the form of a federal Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grant.
The DFC grant provides $125,000 for the current year and up to $625,000 over five years to fund local efforts to reduce and prevent substance abuse including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol among youth.
The Battle Ground Prevention Alliance has been working to support youth in making healthy decisions through drug and alcohol prevention programs since 2014. The coalition is formed of dedicated volunteers and partners representing various sectors of the community including schools, parents, youth, faith, businesses, and law enforcement. Their mission is to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse in the Battle Ground community by building resiliency, strengthening relations, and providing education for families and the community.
Last year, the City of Battle Ground formalized a partnership with the Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance in applying for the five-year Drug-Free Communities grant. The city and the police department have long been involved with the coalition in supporting youth and families through a variety of efforts, including events such as the biannual Drug Take Back Day and National Night Out.
With the successful grant application and formalized partnership, the city now serves as the fiscal agent for the coalition. Battle Ground Police Chief Mike Fort oversees the program’s operations and the work of Program Coordinator Jennifer Kirby. Ms. Kirby joined the coalition after the retirement of former Program Coordinator Kathy Deschner in June of this year. Ms. Kirby has 4 years of experience working with youth prevention coalitions in the region and has managed activities for DFC Support Program grants. She is a long-time resident of the Battle Ground community.
“The goal of the prevention coalition is to make our community a safe and drug-free place for youth,” said Chief Mike Fort. “Prevention is a powerful tool to counteract alcohol, prescription drug, and other substance abuse. The grant funding will support local programs designed to help youth make positive, healthy choices.”
The strength of Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance comes from its many dedicated community partners and volunteers. The coalition works closely with youth, parents, Battle Ground Public Schools, and area businesses who all have a vested interest in seeing our community’s youth live happy and healthy lives.
Anyone interested in being involved with or learning more about Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance is encouraged to contact Program Coordinator Jennifer Kirby at 360-342-5315 or [email protected]
Information about the coalition is also available on their website at www.preventtogetherbg.org.