Established in 1977, the NCADD Prevention and Education Awards program identifies NCADD Affiliate model, state-of-the-art, alcohol and drug prevention programs that have the potential for replication and focuses national and local attention on the many outstanding and innovative programs of NCADD Affiliates.
Each year, the Affiliate Awards Review Committee evaluates all submissions against a specific set of criteria. Meritorious Awards are presented to local NCADD Affiliate programs that meet all criteria and Commendation Awards are presented when programs are deemed worthy but may not meet all criteria, e.g., may not be in existence long enough to have been fully evaluated.
A Call for Submissions is sent to all NCADD Affiliates each year. The Affiliate Awards Review Committee, composed of Affiliate Executive Directors or their designees, review each of the submissions and score them against the stated criteria. Programs selected to receive the Meritorious Award and Commendation Awards are asked to present about the programs at the Annual Conference of Affiliates. The Awards are presented during the Conference.
The 2016 Recipient is Recovery Resource Council, the NCADD Affiliate in Fort Worth, TX, for its “Sunshine Club”. “
Sunshine Club,” is a unique, multi-cultural, evidence-based preventive intervention program for selective youth who are in need of additional education and support to promote their individual health and wellness, prevent and reduce the incidence of drug use, and increase their classroom performance. The philosophy of the program is that all kids should be empowered with the education and skills necessary to make healthy choices, stay drug-free, and know that they have a purpose. This philosophy is even more critical when working with the target population of elementary-aged youth who are living with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).
The Sunshine Club Program supports behavioral health and provides a sustainable resource to positively impact the lives of our community’s most at-risk youth who are under-performing academically or behaviorally because of suspected or known trauma events in their lives such as possible abuse of drugs in the home, a parent in jail/prison, divorce, CPS involvement, or the death or chronic illness of a parent.
Sunshine Club teaches a set of essential life skills to help children learn how to:
- live healthy lives;
- cope with difficult family situations;
- resist negative peer pressure;
- respect others;
- set and achieve goals, and
- refuse alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Sunshine Club is a 10-week, support group series for children, grades K-5th, attending public, elementary schools throughout Tarrant County, Texas. The program is designed for males and females, ages 5-12, whose high-risk situations, attitudes and behaviors place them at elevated risk for future behavioral and health problems including academic failure, substance abuse, delinquency and violence. Sunshine Club is designed to equip children with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in school, overcome adversity and stay drug free. The program uses an evidence-based, Curriculum Based Support Group (CBSG) program, "Kids' Connection," which was developed by Rainbow Days in Dallas, Texas. The program is delivered during the regular school day as a series of interactive, small group lessons that follow the implementation guidelines of the curriculum. Participants are determined to be at-risk for behavioral health disorders and are recruited to participate based upon their school performance, overall behavior and/or membership in an at-risk group. A wide variety of biological, psychological, and social risk factors exist.
Over 100 elementary schools have utilized Recovery Resource Council programming for over 25 years and every year there is a waiting list that current staffing capacity does not allow to be met. These identified schools and their surrounding neighborhoods possess many and sometimes all of the following demographics:
- title 1;
- high crime rates;
- single parent households;
- high drug use and availability;
- low parental school involvement, and
- reduced counselor/support faculty.
Sunshine Club intervenes early and fills behavioral health gaps by offering support to children who are encountering serious stress, social isolation, academic failure, family disruption, chaos, and drug use during their elementary years. Sunshine Club not only promotes the choices and actions that generate wellness but it also reduces the likelihood of mental illness, substance abuse, and other behavioral health disorders.
SOME PAST WINNERS:
2015: Focus on Community, the NCADD Affiliate in Racine, Wisconsin: "Teen Peer Educators Program"
With high amounts of substance abuse by youth in the community, a low number of developmental assets, the lack of effective programming for teenagers and the need for evidence-based prevention programs, this program was developed around research demonstrating that peer facilitation and mentoring are effective in reducing individual, school based, and peer group risk factors for alcohol and other drug abuse.
The objective of the Teen Peer Program (TPP) is to successfully train high school students in order to more effectively reach elementary and middle school students with research based prevention programming, asset development and mentoring. This pairing of peers increases the likelihood that the participants will make better decisions and lead healthier lives free from substance abuse.
The TPP utilizes high school students as Teen Peer Educators (TPE) who have chosen to live healthy, drug free lifestyles. Acting as mentors, the TPE are able to reach children from high risk environments with state of the art prevention programs and activities.
The program has not only provided developmental opportunities in leadership and interpersonal skill development for these students, but it has also continued to grow and generate interest in more teens who want to make a difference in the community.
2013: NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc., East Brunswick, NJ: "We're Not Buying It"
NCADD-Middlesex County has developed a media literacy program whose main goals are to delay/prevent the onset of alcohol, marijuana and non-medical prescription drug use and to prevent bullying. As a result of the program, youth will be able to deconstruct the messages directed at them by the media and say with confidence, “We’re not buying it!”
The program teaches students about the physical and legal consequences associated with substance use and how to define and identify bullying behaviors; the impact of media messaging on their perceptions of community/peer acceptance of substance use and bullying; and how to deconstruct media messages and respond to real-life substance use offers and bullying experiences.
The curriculum is also designed to promote effective skills to reduce the negative peer pressure in the various forms of media youth experience on a daily basis. By teaching them how to deconstruct the overt and covert messages in the media they consume, they are more likely to resist those messages.
2012: Behavioral Health Services, Inc., the NCADD Affiliate in Gardena, CA: "Medicine Education Program"
The Medicine Education Program (MEP) is a CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities)-accredited drug misuse prevention program for older adults (55+) that operates under the philosophy that the proper, safe and appropriate use of medicine(s), prescription and non-prescription, is vital to maintaining individual wellness and independence.
This prevention program offers classes to older adults on the safe and wise use of medications and alcohol. The main thrust of the program is a series of four classes, called Take Charge of Your Health, which is offered at a series of sites where seniors gather and emphasizes healthy behaviors that would reduce the need for medications.
MEP also provides in-service training sessions for service providers to older adults. The goal of these sessions is to sensitize participants to the problem of drug misuse/abuse among older adults and to provide tools and resources to assist workers in identifying and preventing potential problems.
The program has been expanded with a Spanish-language component to reach Latino older adults with prevention education and health promotion information.
2012: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse--St. Louis Area: "TryPOD (Try Putting Off Drinking)"
Based on research indicating that binge drinking negatively affects the growth of teen brains and that those effects can last for years and perhaps even permanently, NCADA created TryPOD as a peer teaching program. NCADA staff trains high school juniors and seniors to teach the effects of binge drinking on the developing teen brain to freshmen and/or sophomores. TryPOD includes a one-day training for selected high school juniors and seniors and the faculty who will support them. The training provides information on:
- the effects of binge drinking on the developing teen brain.
- the skills important in talking with someone who is binge or heavy drinking.
- the three lessons they will teach to freshmen and sophomores.
Each high school implementing TryPOD selects a faculty sponsor who recruits juniors and seniors, arranges training details, schedules practice times with the peer teachers prior to each lesson, and schedules their presentations with teachers in whose classrooms TryPOD teachers will present.
TryPOD has incurred outstanding outcomes showing major changes in students’ attitudes toward alcohol and binge drinking in urban, suburban and rural schools and with students from all walks of life. In addition, TryPOD has created a group of teen advocates working and speaking with community groups and a network of high school counselors committed to using TryPOD as part of their prevention efforts with teens.