Drug Free Rockford announces new program

The City of Rockford, Drug Free Rockford initiative is launching “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child” Family Education Curriculum this spring. The new program will target parents of students in Rockford Public Schools, Head Start, Rockford Housing Authority, local churches and other interested community organizations. This curriculum includes proven strategies recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to be effective drug prevention strategies for youth between the ages of 10-17 years of age.

In the Drug Free Community Partnership’s 2006 Community Assessment, five risk factors that youth in our community faced on a daily basis were highlighted. Those risk factors were as follows:

1. Extreme economic deprivation

2. Lack of commitment to school

3. Lack of favorable parental attitudes and involvement in the problem behavior

4. Family history of the problem behavior

5. Academic failure beginning in late elementary school

The Drug Free Community Partnership continues to work toward addressing the need for drug prevention strategies in our community. According to the 2006 Illinois Youth Survey, Winnebago County data provides evidence that 14 percent of sixth-grade respondents reported consuming alcohol in the past 30 days. This is a 100 percent increase from the 2004 Illinois Youth Survey report. According to this same survey, almost one in five youth reported that it is “sort of easy” to get alcohol. In contrast, they reported that most adults older than 21 in their neighborhood think it is wrong for kids their age to drink alcohol.

The first series of workshops was April 16-20. Interested participants can register by calling the City of Rockford Human Services Department at (815) 987-5686. The next series of workshops will be during the entire month of May every Tuesday and Thursday night from 5:30-8 p.m. Dinner will be served and childcare provided based upon availability. The May series will be held at the YMCA Log Lodge. Registration deadline for the May workshops must be received by April 23 for future workshops.

from the April 18-24, 2007, issue

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