The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation in Indianapolis has announced grants totaling more than $10.2 million to equip K-12 students in Marion County with the skills they need to navigate difficult choices around drug and alcohol use.
According to the foundation, more than 10 percent of eighth-graders in central Indiana said they had used alcohol and 5 percent had used marijuana in the past thirty days, while 11 percent of high school seniors said they had smoked cigarettes, 23 percent had used e-cigarettes, 33 percent had drunk alcohol, 20 percent had used marijuana, and 5 percent had misused prescription drugs in the past thirty days.
Awarded through the foundation's three-year Prevention Matters initiative, the twenty-four grants will support prevention programs that address the substance misuse epidemic by equipping students with the skills they need to navigate difficult choices around drug and alcohol use. Such programs also can improve academic achievement and attendance and classroom behavior and mitigate bullying and in-school violence. In total, the funds will enable schools to reach more than seventy-one thousand children and teenagers — about 44 percent of all Marion County students — with prevention programs by the 2020-21 school year.
Grant recipients include Bishop Chatard High School/Archdiocese of Indianapolis North Deanery, which was awarded $100,655 to support life-skills training for students in grades 3-8; Edison School of the Arts, which will receive $29,744 in support of its Second Step Elementary School (grades K-5) and Second Step: Student Success Through Prevention Middle School (grades 6-8) programs; and Indiana Math and Science Academies, which will receive $130,000 in support of its Good Behavior Game (grades K-5), Reconnecting Youth (grade 8), and Too Good for Drugs (grades 8-10) programs.
"It was clear from the many thoughtful grant applications and well-conceived plans the foundation received that schools understand the important role they can play in delivering proven prevention programs to students," said Fairbanks Foundation president and CEO Claire Fiddian-Green. "The programs funded through Prevention Matters will be incorporated into schools’ existing schedules and equip teachers and school leaders with tools that help students decrease risky decision-making and improve their overall health and well-being during a critical window in their lives."
For a complete list of grant recipients, see the Fairbanks Foundation website.