News and Highlights

Sumner County Community Drug Action Team Receives Big Grant

Underage drinking numbers continue to fall, and support for The Sumner County Community Drug Action Team continues to rise, the program along with five others like around Kansas recently received welcomed news.

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention has awarded an $891,396 grant to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services' Community Services and Programs Commission to continue efforts to prevent and reduce underage drinking in the State of Kansas.

The Sumner County Community Drug Action Team, Safe Streets; of Shawnee County, Manhattan Area Risk Prevention Coalition; of Riley County, Doniphan County Draw the Line Coalition, Leavenworth Prevention Coalition; of Leavenworth County, and the Jackson County Communities that Care Coalition will all be receiving grants from KDADS over the next three years.

Split evenly, the sum totals to $148,566 per school, per year.

For the Sumner County group, this was well-timed news as earlier grant monies ceased as of June 30.

"We went into a non-funded period," explained Marcia Bartelson, with SCCDAT. But the drug action team got a little help from their friends. "Our cities, our County government, our school districts, our communities, our corporations, our small businesses sent us money…we raised closed to $50,000." That was before receiving news from about the latest grant.

"I believe it will start Jan. 1, 2013. Until then we are still under this non-funded period," Bartelson continued.

"This new funding provides us with opportunities to expand on current underage drinking prevention efforts in Kansas communities. Ultimately, these grants will move us forward in our efforts to ensure that our kids grow up in safe, healthy, supportive environments," said KDADS Secretary Shawn Sullivan. Bartelson told supporters of SCCDAT of the big grant on Monday, Oct. 29 during the group's third annual meeting.

Senior students from Belle Plaine, South Haven, and Wellington were on hand to share a little about their experience with SCCDAT. The first year SCCDAT came into existence in 2008, the number of volunteers has ballooned from just under 15, to over 40.

"We're logging 500 volunteer hours per week," Bartelson said at the meeting. "That's teachers and implementers still implementing our programs when they don't have to, we're not even under those grants anymore." With the new grant money set to start at the beginning of the year, underage drinking and drug use is anticipated to continue to decline.

"What we've experienced in this county is the youth are willing to be involved in this issue," Bartelson said. "They see the results, and the many problems and issues that surround early use of alcohol by youth."

By Nate Jones
Posted On Oct. 30, 2012 at 2:45PM