Newaygo County, MI
Coalition for a Drug-Free Newaygo County
The Coalition for a Drug-Free Newaygo County is a 30-member group that works through
the offices of PRIDE Youth Programs to change community attitudes about youth alcohol,
tobacco, and drug use. The Too Smart To Start team in Newaygo County will focus
their efforts on 9- to 13-year-old students and PRIDE club members as well as on
parents and the larger community.
The Newaygo County team reaches youth with peer-to-peer interactive skill-building
and community service activities that promote positive alternatives to alcohol use.
In addition, the team has developed a computer-based online and CD interactive game
to deliver underage alcohol use prevention education to youth. In partnership with
the schools, the team provides youth with the opportunity to interact with this
online computer game in a classroom setting and learn about the harms of underage
alcohol use in a fun way.
The team reaches parents through their children by disseminating take-home packets
to youth that include information about the harms of underage alcohol use and
communication methods that parents can use in talking with their children about
alcohol. Parents are provided with an educational packet to review with their children
as well as access to the online game to play with their children. To ensure that parents
and youth are communicating, an incentive program is launched and youth who return
items from the packet receive an award. In addition, the team works with the schools
to include information about the harms of underage alcohol use in parent newsletters
in the hopes that parents will share it with their children.
To reach the community and increase public disapproval of underage alcohol use,
the Too Smart To Start team partners with the PRIDE teams in Newaygo County. PRIDE
teams disseminate underage alcohol use prevention and Too Smart To Start information
packages at top area shopping centers. In addition, information packages are placed
at a number of popular stores.