December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. So we are reminding you:
DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE.
On December 6th, 28 students from all over WNY were honored at the Healthy Choices Art & Poetry Contest Awards Ceremony/Press Event; sponsored by Evans Bank in the State Police Building at the Hamburg Fairgrounds.
This year over 300 entries were received by students who created original works of art that demonstrated their healthy choices, instead of drugs or alcohol. The contest is made possible through a generous sponsorship from Evans Bank. Click here for the full list of winners
The winners of the Healthy Choices Art & Poetry Contest will be honored on Thursday, December 6th at the Hamburg Fairgrounds at 10:00 am in the NY State Police building. Please join us if you are supportive friend of family member for one of our winners!!
These students choose healthy activities and Not drugs or alcohol and we want them to be proud!
We are so honored that over 300 students submitted original art or poetry pieces for the Healthy Choices contest! We want to thank all of the students who took the time to create and demonstrate their Healthy Choice over drugs and alcohol, your work was amazing! A special thank you to the teachers, counselors, and schools who support the students and our contest. And of course a huge thank you to Evans Bank for sponsoring this contest! This year we had new age categories which were: Kindergarten - 2nd Grade, 3rd - 5th Grade, 6th - 8th Grade and 9th - 12 Grade.
Our Prevention Specialists and Administrative team had the task of judging the pieces of work based on creativity, clarity of the message and craftsmanship. These winning pieces will be displayed in our Drive Safe Forest at the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights, from November 23 to December 23 in the NYS Police Building.
On September 22, 2018, at Christ the King Seminary, a team that included Deacons, the Diocesan offices of Pro-Life and Family Life Ministries, the Samaritan Counseling Center, and WNY United presented a workshop designed to inform clergy and lay volunteers about addiction, how it impacts families and to explore the church’s role in bringing help, healing and peace to our communities. This workshop is the third in a series of annual workshops that WNY United has co-hosted for the faith community.
The workshop was attended by more than 60 people from throughout the diocese of Buffalo and included both clergy and laity. Dr. Richard Blondell spoke about the importance of prevention and treatment of addiction. Dr. Paul Updike spoke about the medical and spiritual aspects of recovery. And the Samaritan Counseling Center educated attendees about family systems. The entire event, including lunch, was available to participants free of charge, thanks to the generous sponsorship of The John Russell Paslaqua Memorial Fund of the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.
Contact your local parish to ask if they are participating in Red Ribbon Sunday, which is scheduled for October 28th!
The LIT Summer Program has come to an end, just in time for our Leaders In Training to go back to their schools and use what they learned.
This year we had 100 students from 10 Buffalo Public Schools, Maryvale Central and Lake Shore Central attend the program. The curriculum included a True Colors personality assessment, "Math for Life", English Language Arts, Home and Careers, Girls Only or Boys Only training, physical education, and career exploration. Besides the curriculum, the students learned from: Mission Ignite, Missing and Exploited Children, a Career Fair, Play 60, Because Char Smiled, Independent Health 5-2-1-0 Program and Camp Pioneer
The 5 week program ended with a week of field trips that included the Buffalo Zoo and Darien Lake. Closing Ceremonies were held on August 7th at Medaille. We look forward to the school year ahead and all that will be accomplished by our Leaders in Training!
Red Ribbon Week provides us with the opportunity to spread the word that all children are NOT using drugs and alcohol! We have put together lots of ideas for schools, communities or individuals to participate. Check out our flyer here.
Senator Chris Jacobs, WNY United and Independent Health Foundation work together to launch a new Program for high schools
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Paul Pfeiffer
August 1, 2018 716-854-8705
JACOBS SECURES $50,000 TO LAUNCH HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM TO FIGHT HEROIN EPIDEMIC
Pilot program aimed at developing skills to avoid risky behaviors
(Buffalo, NY) – New York State Senator Chris Jacobs (60th SD) announced that he has secured $50,000 in state funds to support the implementation of a High School Student Ambassador Program in the City of Buffalo. Developed by the Independent Health Foundation and Western New York United Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse, the pilot program is patterned after the successful Leadership in Training (LIT) middle school program.
“As a Co-Chair of the State Senate’s Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of education and peer engagement in successfully preventing our children from experimenting with drugs and other dangerous behaviors,” said Senator Jacobs. “Our students will benefit greatly from the awareness, relationship building and decision making skills they will develop in this program and I am extremely pleased to have secured the funding to expand it to the high school level.”
“I would like to thank Senator Chris Jacobs for securing funds to help establish the High School Student Ambassador Program that will develop resiliency and leaders among our youth in Buffalo by providing the appropriate resources and tools to overcome barriers and lead healthy lifestyles,” said Michael Cropp, M.D., President & CEO, Independent Health. “A profound aspect of this unique program is that it trains students to become ambassadors to help influence their peers to make better choices for their health and future success.”
Leaders in Training is a leadership and life skill development program developed more than 20 years ago by WNY United Against Drug & Alcohol Abuse. Through this program, students participate in conferences, an intensive summer program, retreats, and school-based activities. Approximately 120 students are trained each summer to become leaders and ambassadors in their schools.
For the past five years, Independent Health has partnered with Western New York United Against Drug & Alcohol Abuse on its Leadership in Training middle school program to develop a healthy ambassadors program in which middle school students are trained to educate elementary school students about the Fitness for Kids Challenge.
"It's been a long time goal of WNY United to expand the Leadership in Training program to High School. We are so grateful to Senator Jacobs for his insight and support and to the Independent Health Foundation for working with us to meet this goal,” said Beth Anzalone, Executive Director of WNY United Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse. “Thank you also Medaille College for hosting the LIT program here on the college campus. We are excited to engage young High School students to help prevent risky behaviors and provide them with opportunities to learn essential leadership and life skills.”
The concept behind the high school pilot program is to highlight the resiliency of youth to overcome obstacles and avoid risky behaviors. The development phase will run approximately twelve months, and will consist of alumni from the middle school program identifying and addressing risk factors they encounter in their daily lives, including unhealthy behaviors in their schools, homes and communities. The implementation phase will begin in July 2019 and consist of a five to six week summer training program focusing on self-awareness, self-management, decision-making, relationship skill development and social awareness.
“The High School Student Ambassador Program will bridge the gap between Middle School Leadership awareness and real adult leadership and management skills,” said Dr. Will Keresztes, BPS Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs, Planning, and Community Engagement. “The District is grateful to Senator Jacobs and our partnering agencies in bringing leadership training full circle as we help to develop our students into strong and engaged citizens of Buffalo.”
Some of the goals associated with the pilot program include the encouragement of lifelong resiliency and coping mechanisms, empowering student ambassadors to provide support and take action in their local communities, and building a network to connect their classmates to appropriate resources and activities for healthy behaviors. Program partners will conduct research, collect data and measure improved outcomes in an effort to establish evidence based curriculum going forward.
“The Independent Health Foundation looks forward to the success and growth of this program through the training of peer advocates to help improve the health and lives of high school students in partnership with Western New York United Against Drug & Alcohol Abuse and Buffalo Public Schools,” said Carrie Meyer, Executive Director, Independent Health Foundation.
For Immediate Release:
July 18, 2018
Kate Chudoba, Marketing Communications Manager
Office 716-821-7722 ext 314
WNY UNITED LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE FOR WNY CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY CONSORTIUM
The WNY Chemical Dependency Consortium is lead by a Board of Directors that represent Prevention, Treatment and Recovery. The mission of the Western New York Chemical Dependency Consortium is to assist in the development of a high-quality, accessible, cost-effective and wrap-around continuum of care system that represents prevention, treatment, recovery, education, housing, training and research services.
Last fall, WNY United Against Drug & Alcohol Abuse, Inc. received a grant through NY State OASAS to develop a region-wide coalition of community stakeholders across Erie, Niagara, Allegany, Chautauqua, and Cattaraugus counties which make up the Western Region Addiction Resource Collaborative. As part of this grant, WNY United was able to develop a new Chemical Dependency Consortium website,
The website www.wnycdc.com is a valuable tool for everyone to use. The site contains lists of Resources, broken down into Local and National, as well as by county for Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery. Lists of available Trainings, as well as a Speakers Bureau and current Materials can be found on the site.
This website is also the place to go for local coalitions to apply for project support. The applications are reviewed by the Community Action Partnership team on a monthly basis. The purpose of this coalition is to build capacity and support an array of Environmental Prevention Strategies across the region. To learn more about the WNY Chemical Dependency Consortium, or for materials, trainings, speakers, and resources, please visit www.wnycdc.com.
WNY United Against Drug & Alcohol Abuse, Inc. is a primary substance abuse prevention and education agency designed to increase awareness, educate and mobilize a broad cross-section of individuals and gro ups to participate actively in proven strategies to prevent substance abuse. Consistent with the latest research, WNY United recruits, develops and supports partnerships with schools, communities and businesses that work on creative and comprehensive solutions to problems caused by alcohol and other drug abuse.
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