Written by Submitted by SAFE, Inc. Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Members of SAFE’s PRIDE Project Coalition met recently at a sustainability planning meeting to review their individual committee’s accomplishments in the past year, as well as forecast a plan of action for the upcoming year.
SAFE Board Chair and Strategic Planner Georgie Connett stated that the coalition is in its last year of federal funding through a Drug Free Communities Support Program grant. She thanked the coalition for all of their hard work and accomplishments.
SAFE also receives NYS OASAS funding. OASAS has partnered with the NYS National Guard Counterdrug Task Force to improve the health and well-being of New York communities by addressing alcohol and substance abuse through coalition development.
National Guardsmen Staff Sgt. David You and Sergeant First Class Jim Aquino came to this year’s sustainability meeting, where they introduced the Guard’s Coalition Assessment tool, the KAIZEN, which coalition members used to answer a series of questions that will determine the coalition’s overall effectiveness and areas of concentration. As a group, the coalition will develop strategies and milestones for improvement based on the results of the KAIZEN.
After completing the KAIZEN, Coalition Committee Chairs addressed the membership regarding future Action Steps for their respective committees that incorporate the recent Bach Harrison Prevention Needs Assessment results.
Glen Cove Councilman Tony Gallo, the new chair of the Community Committee, discussed plans to create a phone app for the SAFE Rides Program. The Bach Harrison Prevention Needs Assessment study for 2014 indicates that 11.3 percent of sixth graders are riding in cars with someone under the influence, said Gallo.
“The motivation of SAFE Rides is to incorporate technology using an app on cell phones instead of calling a cab,” he explained. “When youth activate the app it will go directly to a taxi company who will provide a ride.”
The Community Committee will also work to develop data from the Social Host Hotline and continue to work with the Glen Cove Police Department in their commitment to increase DWI sweeps to capture underage drinkers who are drivers and passengers. Additionally, the committee will continue their collaboration with the Glen Cove Business Improvement District and Chamber of Commerce to implement the SAFE initiative to address the recent data that concerns area merchants’ non-compliance to reduce the sale of alcohol to minors.
“Part of our efforts at the police department includes stings at the local liquor store and convenience stores,” said Glen Cove Police Sgt. Chris Ortiz. “This past year we’ve got 100 percent compliance.
We find they are asking for proper identification.”
Ortiz added that the Glen Cove Police Department was awarded two grants for DWI enforcement this year.
One initiative SAFE is working on is the implementation of zoning and regulations for new retail establishments throughout Glen Cove to decrease citywide availability of tobacco paraphernalia. “There needs to be more leadership from the top to get this zoning in place,” said Gallo.
Ortiz recommended that it be a law that tobacco paraphernalia not be permitted a certain number of feet from a place that sells alcohol.
“We are anti-tobacco,” said Connett, adding that SAFE does not support the expansion of a hookah retailer that is being discussed in town.
The Parent Committee, led by Laurent Caballero, will continue to work on incorporating the new results from the Bach Harrison Survey. The committee acts as a bi-lingual parent resource for prevention, education, intervention and research on alcohol and drug abuse and serve as a liaison with the PTA. They will continue their efforts to recruit new members through the PTA, PTA Council and SEPTA who all have the same goals and objectives as SAFE. Additionally, the committee will continue to promote and implement ongoing bilingual Parent University education addressing the survey.
“We are thinking of getting the clergy involved to send the message about the Social Host Law,” said SAFE Director Dr. Sharon Harris. “And I’d like to continue to use professional presenters, researchers and leaders at our Parent Universities.”
The School Committee, led by Denise Kiernan, Director of Health, Physical Education & Athletics for the Glen Cove School District, is committed to promoting Parent Universities and other SAFE initiatives throughout the school district.
There are plans to collaborate with Carol Meschkow of the Long Island Anti-Tobacco Coalition to enhance the health education’s curriculum by continuing to implement ongoing tobacco prevention campaigns including the “We’ve Seen Enough Campaign,” that SAFE has brought to the school district for the past two years.
An after school program, the Life Skills Evidence-Based program, will address the results from the Bach Harrison survey targeting the middle school student data.
“I want to invite people from SAFE to speak about the results of Bach to our health teachers and physical education teachers,” said Kiernan. “They need to hear this so they can understand what is going on with our children.”
The Youth Committee, led by Arlene O’Dell, executive director of the Glen Cove Youth Bureau and Melissa Rhodes, executive director of the Glen Cove Boys and Girls Club is committed to developing, promoting and implementing the prevention programs for youth. The committee will continue their collaboration with the School Committee’s Teens as Teachers regarding the implementation of prevention education and strategies.
“We are constantly trying to involve kids to do something better,” said O’Dell. “All of our programs continue to be involved in community service classes. This year for the first time the kids were involved in the community service project Relay for Life.”
Some of the programs the committee will be presenting to decrease idle time among youth and to showcase them are the Kiwanis Pizza Night, National Night Out and the annual Boys & Girls Club SMART Moves Evidence Based Summer Programs.
For further information on any SAFE, Inc. PRIDE Project Coalition and their initiatives contact Coalition Coordinator Aimee Abraham at 516- 676-2008. SAFE Inc. is a not-for-profit tax-exempt substance abuse education and prevention agency located in Glen Cove. Visit www.safeglencove.org and www.facebook.com/GlenCovePrideCoalition.