Ken. Schools Receive Grant to Develop Drug Abuse Education Curricula
Aug. 23—WHITLEY COUNTY—The Kentucky Department for Public Health has awarded an Early Childhood Healthy Living Program grant to three area school districts for the new school year.
The $40,000 grant was awarded to Corbin Independent, Williamsburg Independent and Whitley County, in partnership with the Whitley County Health Department, to help each district fight the area's drug abuse epidemic with substance abuse curricula, such as anti-drug messaging and other resources.
Williamsburg Independent Superintendent Amon Couch said the additional help is much needed, especially given the important role an education facility plays in helping curb drug use.
"We happen to live a culture where drug abuse is rampant, and part of our job, as a school system, is to partner with families to provide resources and support for that. Nearly every single household in this area either has someone that is involved in drug abuse or knows someone that does," said Couch. "Education is the key to 90 percent of the problems that we have. People just don't know or don't understand."
Mark Daniels, director of support services for Corbin Independent, also said the grant would be of benefit to students, noting that such benefits would be both short- and long-term.
"This is a great opportunity for our county. We will be able to provide students in multiple school districts life-long services including Mental Health First Aid as well as give them access to information about substance abuse prevention," said Daniels.
Couch said the three school districts coming together in an attempt to get the grant helped their ability to receive the grant, and, in turn, help students.
"Anytime you write a grant, the more partnerships you can show, the more cross-agency collaborations you can show...the more 'buying power,' so to speak, it gives you," said Couch. "The fact that every school system in this county has joined together to do this, it helps knowing that we're all unified and together in one accord."
Since the three districts worked in partnership for the grant, the monies will be split between them.
The school districts were just recently notified that they were receiving the grant, but are expected to be able to implement the available resources within the next few weeks.