Spotlight on Health, Drug Awareness Education, Casey County Schools

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Picture:  Marion Sowders, Superintendent – Casey County School District; Cathy Williams, Prevention Specialist/DFC Project Coordinator – Casey County School District; Jelaine Harlow, Health Educator – LCDHD; Shawn Crabtree, Executive Director – LCDHD

Casey County School District received $33,423 from The Early Childhood Healthy Living Initiative grant.  This initiative was created by Kentucky’s Health Commissioner Hiram Polk, to provide an opportunity for young children to live healthy and be drug free.   A request for proposal was sent to School Districts across the State in the spring of 2017.  Cathy Williams, Prevention Specialist/DFC Project Coordinator received the information and took action writing a successful proposal for Casey County School District.

Casey County School District will address the issues of substance use prevention in grades Pre-K through 4 with three curriculums that are age appropriate, evidenced based, and address not only basic substance prevention education, but include a focus on development of ESI (Emotional and Social Intelligence) in students.  Emotional and Social Intelligence (ESI) which refers to the competencies linked to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management, which enable students to understand and manage their own and others’ emotions in social interactions. By implementing all 3 curriculums, we will address the presence of ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) in a large number of our students, and develop long-term resilience to self-manage and avoid future substance use.

In Kentucky, Substance Use/Abuse is an epidemic.  In 2015, Kentucky was ranked number 3 in the nation for overdose deaths.   “With the serious drug issues our communities face, we hope these funds can be used to help prevent our youth from starting drugs in the first place,” Shawn Crabtree, Executive Director – LCDHD.

“The Early Childhood Healthy Living Initiative provides an opportunity to empower our students to receive information on the dangers of drugs and the skills to resist using those drugs”, Jelaine Harlow, Health Educator, LCDHD.