It’s time for another post in our Gwinnett collaboration blog series, and today is all about our partnership with the Gwinnett County Public School System. You can catch up on our previous posts about Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation and the Communications Department.
As many of you know, GUIDE was formed in 1986 as a joint effort between the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and the Gwinnett County Board of Education. The purpose was to have a comprehensive, coordinated and proactive approach to reducing and preventing substance use and abuse.
Over the years, GUIDE has focused heavily on preventing underage drinking because of its prominent presence among our teens compared to other drugs and substances. Fortunately, underage drinking in Gwinnett County continues to decline every year, and we attribute that success to the collective efforts all around the county, one specifically being the collaborative partnership we have with the Gwinnett County Public School System.
GUIDE has worked closely with Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) since our start 30 years ago when we worked together with school officials to develop substance abuse prevention curriculums for different grades. In recent years, GUIDE has worked with the school system to conduct various campaigns and trainings to improve community conditions and make Gwinnett safer and healthier. We are very grateful for this collaboration, and these are just eight of the reasons why:
- We have the opportunity to support three high school Youth Action Teams who partner with us to provide health, wellness and prevention activities to the thousands of students in their schools and communities.
- We are able to distribute alcohol and drug prevention materials to the schools, including Safe and Sober Prom posters and SaveBrains materials. These materials communicate positive messages about staying sober and choosing to make healthy choices to high school students across the county.
- We have conducted various peer leadership and alcohol awareness trainings at middle schools, empowering young people to make healthier choices and be role models in their schools.
- We worked with six high schools to coordinate positive social norms campaigns, providing all the materials and banners for the schools that helped to create mindset shifts around underage drinking.
- Three high schools participated in our Adult Positive Social Norms campaign and displayed banners around their football fields, thanking parents and other adults for not providing alcohol to teens and correcting adults’ misperceptions that most teens drink.
- We are able to share resources and latest research around prevention and positive youth development with teachers, faculty and staff through health fairs, Health and PE Conferences, newsletters and the GCPS intranet.
- Three high schools partnered with our Youth Advisory Board to conduct a marijuana prevention campaign to reduce marijuana use on 4/20.
- Several high schools agreed to place yard signs around their schools during prom and graduation time, reminding parents and adults that it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors to decrease underage age drinking at parties.
As you can see, we have many reasons to be thankful for this great partnership. If you want to learn more about ways you can get involved and help prevent alcohol and drug use in Gwinnett County, contact Molly at firstname.lastname@example.org.