Caldwell County Cares Coalition receives $100,000 grant to address alcohol and substance abuse issues

(left to right) Abigail Newland, Shonna Morrison, Rebecca Arway, and Cory Eslinger

The Caldwell County Cares Coalition has received funding to address alcohol and substance use issues. The group received a Mega Grant Award for $100,000 from Preferred Family Healthcare Prevention.

The 3C Power in Prevention project will be a joint effort of sectors of Caldwell, Daviess, and DeKalb counties. It will implement a three-fold initiative that begins this school year. The programming will be provided at no cost to schools.

The first goal is to offer several schools in kindergarten through sixth grade the option of a prevention specialist teaching an evidence-based curriculum. The curriculum is called Too Good for Drugs and focuses on developing skills like setting reachable goals, making responsible decisions, and identifying and managing emotions to build self-awareness and social awareness.

(left to right) Abigail Newland, Shonna Morrison, Rebecca Arway, and Cory Eslinger
(left to right) Abigail Newland, Shonna Morrison, Rebecca Arway, and Cory Eslinger

The second goal is to host a one-day leadership symposium for all high schools in the three-county region to send three student delegates to participate. At the 3C Be Bold event, students will receive information and education regarding decision making, refusal skills, and coping skills. Students could then receive a small grant to take the lessons back to their high schools to share.

The final goal is to launch a local campaign using social media, billboards, and banners to increase awareness of the need to encourage students and adults to make healthy choices.

The Caldwell County Cares Coalition is a 501(c)(3). It has operated on donations, fundraising, coalition funding, and Health Department Chronic Disease grants since its inception in July 2013. The coalition has implemented projects related to wellness, including tobacco use prevention, stroke, and cancer prevention-focused efforts, and securing water for families in underserved areas.

For the Preferred Family grant, the Caldwell County Cares Coalition partnered with Bright Futures Gallatin to develop a mission and vision that would bring resources to positively influence young people in the three-county region.

Recipients of the funding are required to use the Strategic Prevention Framework supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Recipients implement environmental strategies to change their community’s attitudes and expectations regarding alcohol and substance use to a healthier culture.

The funding is administered by the Missouri Department of Behavioral Health.