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Initiative presented to Tyler County Board

By Staff | Oct 20, 2010

Executive Director Greg Puckett of National Youth Leadership and Melody Glasscock of the Family Resource Network appeared before Tyler County Board of Education on Monday evening asking for the board’s cooperation in a new program offered in Tyler County.

Community Connections, in partnership with CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America), and the National Coalition Institute, are collaborating to implement the first-ever statewide collaboration of CADCA’s prestigious National Youth Leadership Initiative (NYLI). The National Youth Leadership Initiative program targets youth in 8th grade to 11th grade.

The project will provide grass roots community coalitions with a new and innovative strategy to develop a workforce dedicated to solving substance abuse problems in the community. He said that the funds will be used to extensively educate local coalitions about the problems associated with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs by sending them through extensive national and statewide training opportunities to become proficient in the nationally recognized SPF (Strategic Prevention Framework) process.

Through this combination of classroom instruction and web-based distance learning, youth and leaders throughout the state will participate in the design, implementation, and evaluation of action strategies to address major community problems, including substance abuse and crime.

Puckett stated the Tyler County school system will work with the participating coalitions and mentors to provide leniency in attendance policies in regard to this exceptional educational opportunity. Youth participating in the program will receive education as an extremely high level and will bring this knowledge back to his or her community and school environment.

Puckett said they received two million dollars for this program from former West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd before he passed away. He also said the program is being offered to each of the 55 counties in the state. The program started with 70 youths participating and now it has grown to about 200 to 300 kids participating.

In his presentation, Puckett said that 43.5 percent of students in West Virginia reported using alcohol, 27.6 percent of students reported using tobacco and 23.5 percent reported using marijuana within the past 30 days.

Puckett stated that 55 youths and 55 adults from the state will get the chance to attend a conference in Washington, D.C. and Anaheim, California.

All board members agreed that they would like to have the program in the county and supported the cause.

In other business, Melinda Walton, director of Special Education, Attendance, Social Services and Preschool attended the meeting and gave the board members the second month enrollment and monthly attendance report. She said that the attendance is fine but that Tyler County is down 63 students from last year. She thinks that it is due to families moving away from the area. She reported that 45 students from Wetzel County, 4 students from Doddridge County and two students from Pleasants County are attending school here.

Board Member Ken Hunt expressed his concern of students on the county lines saying they are going to one school and the other school thinking they are going to the other one and the student not attending a school at all. He also said that tracking these students are important and a little over 30 kids are transferring to other schools. He also hopes that the other schools are going to help them identify these students.

The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Tyler County Board of Education Office located inside Tyler Consolidated High School.