INITIATIVES

The ongoing, flagship programs of the coalition include:

 

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Family Day—an annual fall event that brings local families together around the evening meal and prompts discussion about issues relating to substance use;

 

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Be a Parent, Not a Friend—a multimedia campaign that runs throughout the year to support parents in their setting of no-use expectations and consequences;

 

 

 

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Parents Who Host, Lose the Most—an awareness campaign that provides information to parents on state and local social host laws, timed to specific events like prom and holiday celebrations.

 

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National Prescription Take-Back Day—a government-sponsored biannual event that facilitates the collection and safe disposal of unused, expired, unwanted drugs to prevent their being diverted and misused.

 

 

 

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Above the Influence—a student-run club, active throughout the school year,  that engages local teens in prevention activities and generates awareness for prevention messages relating to drug and alcohol use.

 

 

 

RADAR’s initiatives span multiple areas of action targeting both individuals and various community sectors.

 

COMMUNITY AWARENESS AND EDUCATION

RADAR presents experts in the field of prevention several times each year, to make available to the community at large the latest research on prevention topics, to address current prevention issues from an informed perspective, and to spark dialogue on the community status quo.  Recent speakers have included:

  • Mike Nerney, thirty years a consultant in substance abuse prevention and education and former director of training at the Institute of Narcotic and Drug Research, Inc., speaking on youth-focused issues that included adolescent brain development as it relates to substance use;
  • Joe Califano, founder of CASAColumbia research organization, examining the links between substance use and other health/social problems and translating use and addiction knowledge into policy and practice;
  • Dr. Bertha Madras, professor of psychobiology in the Department of Psychiatry and the chair of the Division of Neurochemistry at Harvard Medical School, reviewing in depth for the lay person the current data and misinformation on the effects of marijuana use on the developing adolescent;
  • Ty Sells, director of training for Youth to Youth International with three decades of experience in prevention and youth development, focusing on the development of leadership skills in our young people from multiple perspectives—students, parents, educators, and community members;
  • Mark Sterner, popular motivational speaker on a national scale, sharing his history with local high school students: instead of being the first in his family to graduate college, Mark ended up the first member of his family to go to prison for his role in the tragic death of his three friends while DUI;
  • C. Kevin Wanzer, preventionist since his high school days when he was an appointee to the White House Conference for a Drug Free America, discussing bullying, drug prevention, and personal integrity with audiences across the community;
  • Blake Skjellerup, an Olympic speed skater and an openly gay athlete, speaks to the issues LGBT youth face as student athletes, and encourages all students to help build a more inclusive environment in school sports.

 

RADAR reaches out to the community through local media campaigns

  • To raise awareness of county and state social host laws (“Parents Who Host Lose the Most” messages timed with prom and graduation) and to promote adult responsibility within the community;
  • To provide parenting tips and pertinent information on drugs and alcohol using a regular newsletter distributed through the school district;
  • To heighten awareness in the community of state laws prohibiting anyone from supplying alcohol to minors, using a student-executed program of stickering alcohol containers at point of sale;
  • To reinforce the need for effective parenting and create a supportive community framework for the enforcement of no-use expectations within the household using “Be a Parent, Not A Friend” messages in print, take-ones, outdoor media, and local broadcasts of a student-produced public service announcement.

 

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

RADAR provides alternative, drug-and-alcohol-free activities that engage our youth, build leadership skills, and promote positive character development.  Activities are ongoing throughout the school year and include:

  • Attendance for selected students at the summer Youth to Youth regional leadership conference;
  • Café Thursdays afterschool events for high school students;
  • Sponsorship of special presentations such as the film Race to Nowhere for high school students;
  • RADAR Student Committee/Mamaroneck High School Club activities.

RADAR provides, through its grant funding, support for school activities that teach concepts fundamentally in accord with its mission.  These activities include support for STEM instruction at COOP Camp and MHS Jumpstart initiatives as they  relate to leadership skills building. In addition, RADAR helped with the startup of a 9th grade Advocacy group, to be run by the L-M Community Counseling Center, which will build on the very successful 8th grade group at the Hommocks Middle School.

To foster effective parenting skills and promote ongoing communication within the family—these are known to be key protective factors for adolescents—RADAR sponsors and promotes initiatives and programs that include:

  • Family Day (a national observance on the fourth Monday of each September) to encourage families to eat together more often, with RADAR providing dining discounts from local restaurateurs and table placemats that start a family conversation on pertinent topics;
  • A televised Latino parenting presentation on drugs and alcohol broadcast by Vistozos and available on demand on LMC-TV;
  • “Active Parenting,” a course in effective parenting for Spanish-speaking families, administered by the LM-Community Counseling Center;
  • “Staying Connected With Your Teen,” an annual series of workshops in parenting facilitated by the high school social workers and the L-M Community Counseling Center.
  • Mindful Parenting Workshop Series for parents of teens to teach them skills to help build resiliency in their children.

The coalition encourages a productive exchange across all levels of the community, and facilitates community conversation through events such as a Dialogue Day that brought together high school students and community leaders in an encounter that ultimately grew into ongoing Café Thursdays.

 

COMMUNITY TRACKING

RADAR gathers data on the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and drugs by local youth on a regular basis, using established research instruments and accepted research techniques.  The coalition has amassed a decade’s worth of information, and continues to monitor local usage trends compared to county, state, and national levels.  So that everyone may stay informed and responsive to the latest circumstances, data is shared with the community through public presentations and written communications.  Up-to-date local usage statistics and a solid grounding in current prevention science are the underpinnings of every RADAR initiative.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

RADAR provides trainings for specific target groups in the community to educate and empower them in substance use prevention.  These trainings have included

  • Responsible beverage server and sales training (TIPS Training for Intervention Procedures) for employees of businesses with alcohol licenses;
  • Training for local Girl Scout leaders on the substance-use risk and protective factors that affect adolescent girls;
  • SBIRT training (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) for local healthcare professionals who work with teens;
  • Training on the latest research data on marijuana use for local healthcare professionals who work with teens;
  • PACT 360 (Police and Communities Together) training on parenting and youth development for youth-serving community professionals;
  • Training for all interested community members in Positive Norms Communication strategy, designed to refocus the prevention message across all sectors on the positive choices being made by our youth and the positive statistics emerging from the coalition’s ongoing data collection;
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Children and Adolescents in School Settings Workshop for Mamaroneck School District mental health staff.