Spotlight on Health, Drug Awareness Education, Pulaski County Schools

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Picture left to right: Wanda Absher, Psy. S, District Safe School Coordinator– Pulaski County School; Steve Butcher, Superintendent – Pulaski County Schools; Shawn Crabtree, Executive Director – Lake Cumberland District Health Department; Tracy Aaron, Health Education Director – Lake Cumberland District Health Department

Pulaski County School District received $40,000 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. Wanda Absher, Psy. S. District Safe School Coordinator received the information and took action writing a successful proposal for Pulaski County School District.

Pulaski School District will be implementing HALO, a SAMSHA approved drug awareness and education curriculum for pre-school students. The grant will also assist in funding Too Good for Drugs Curriculum for Kindergarten thru 4th grade. (The district has supported the Too Good for Drug Curriculum to all Kindergarten thru 9th grade students since 2007-2008.) Also, funds from the Early Childhood Heather Living Initiative will provide support in our Parents-As-Teachers Program that work with mothers with young children as their first teachers. The grant will provide for enhanced emphasis on parent involvement, physical exercise/nutrition and Pre-K through 4th grade Substance Abuse, Tobacco and Alcohol Prevention Education.

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.