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Newport district has strong prevention foundation in place as 4-year grant comes to a close

in Newport/News/Northeast Kingdom

NEWPORT — The Newport district now has a much stronger prevention foundation in place thanks to work that’s been going on over the last four years through the Regional Prevention Partnership (RPP) grant.

The RPP was a cooperative agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Newport was one of six Vermont Department of Health districts funded.

Funding was available to increase state, regional, and community capacity to prevent underage and binge drinking, prescription drug misuse, and marijuana use through a targeted regional approach.

Through the RPP, relationships with community and media partners were formed, and a listserv was established serving up to 200 people.

This work allowed for communications regarding substance use and misuse programming for youth and families.

Over 300 community members were also trained in Mental Health First Aid thanks to a partnership with the Vermont Care Partners.

Sunny Naughton, the RPP Coordinator, was named the top female trainer in Vermont in 2019 due to the number of partnerships created.

The RPP also served all schools in the Orleans Central Supervisory Union with in-school Dover Y2Y Curriculum.

Dover Y2Y is a youth empowerment program taking on the threat of alcohol and drug misuse.

The RPP established several after school programs in the North Country Supervisory Union over the grant period.

RPP even supported North Country Union Junior High School with its first Gay Straight Alliance meeting.

The first meeting in the Spring of 2018 had 45 students attend.

Partnerships established during the grant period saw Drug Take Back Day carried out with the Orleans County Sheriff and Kinney Drugs in Fall of 2018.

This partnership also promoted the Drug Take Back Mail In Envelope program.

During the grant period, Allyson Howell worked with Mike Stanley and the Northern Vermont Youth Recreational Soccer League to establish a substance-free policy and provided NCUJHS with substance-free signage that was placed all over school property.

The grant ended on June 30, and a digital awards ceremony was held with community leaders gathered via Zoom to recognize the prevention work and local partnerships that were formed over the last years.

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