As a part of our Gwinnett collaboration blog series, we are highlighting our partnership with Gwinnett County Public Schools.
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 inception in 1986 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 six of the reasons why:
- We have the opportunity to support high school Youth Action Teams through Georgia Teen Institute 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.
- Multiple high schools participate in our Adult Positive Social Norms campaign and display banners around their gyms and 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.
- We created flyers about heroin and the brain and addiction for schools to distribute and are now working to implement a prescription drug abuse campaign with them.
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 Alexis Cato at firstname.lastname@example.org.