PACA awarded Virginia ABC grant to educate students on harmful effects of alcohol and drugs

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~ Press release provided by Page Alliance For Community Action

Page Alliance for Community Action (PACA) has received a Virginia ABC Alcohol Education and Prevention grant totaling $9,000. The funds will support an educational project with PACA and their partner, Page County Public Schools, through weekly seminars at the county’s two high schools.

In the initial year, the partners chose a book focused on addiction to discuss and inspire conversations among students about the misuse of alcohol and other drugs. The book’s author will participate in these seminar discussions with students and teachers during the year through Zoom meetings and conclude the year with in-person conversations with the entire student population in 9th through 12th grade.

The first book for this valuable education project will be Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic. The author Sam Quinones has written a youth adaptation issue of the book that incorporates underage drinking that can lead to experimenting with other drugs that our students might not feel are harmful.

Mr. Quinones states the youth adaptation of the book was written because “recreational drug use is so deadly now, I wanted people to start thinking about this, talking about this. Frequently, I’ve heard from teachers that once they start talking about it, the number of people who have addicted family members or neighbors is very high, so you begin to see how relevant it is to kids’ lives and (the book) gives them a way to understand it.”

The youth adaptation of Dreamland reads like a novel with stories focused on survivors, parents, communities, and drug entrepreneurs. Many of the characters are teens who have found themselves experimenting with alcohol and turning to other drugs.

Virginia ABC seeks to partner, collaborate, and build capacity with those who share in promoting their message of alcohol safety and responsibility. Through Education and Prevention, Virginia ABC offers annual Alcohol Education and Prevention Grants to organizations working to prevent underage and high-risk drinking within their communities.

Learn more about Virginia ABC and their work at www.abc.virginia.gov/education

and a list of grantees at www.abc.virginia.gov/education/grants.

Learn more about PACA and their work at Pagecoalition.org

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