Thursday, July 28, 2011

Van Buren Middle/High School Back to School BBQ August 18, 2011

You are invited to a family friendly event! Meet the staff of Van Buren Community Middle/High School and learn a little about them. Learn about the Conduct Policy and how it affects your family. Learn about parent and student rights regarding bullying and harassment. Enjoy a meal and door prizes such as a flip camera. Come out and join us as we head back to school!

This event will be held on August 18, 2011 from 4:45pm to 7:00 pm at the Van Buren Middle/High School in Keosauqua.

•Bullying Presentation begins at 4:45pm provided by Nate Munson from Iowa’s Safe Schools Program.
•Conduct Policy Presentation begins at 6:15pm provided by Greg Jones the Activities Director at the Van Buren Middle/High School.
•A meal will be provided starting at 5:00 pm.
•Door prizes will be awarded at each presentation (you must be present to win). Two of the prizes will include a bike and a flip camera plus more to come!

The BBQ is being sponsored by: Keosauqua Chamber, Keosauqua Lions Club, Keosauqua Rotary, Van Buren Community Schools and Van Buren County SAFE Coalition! For more information on this event please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or or check for information online at or on Facebook – Van Buren County SAFE Coalition.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


August 4th — 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The Child Abuse Prevention Council will be sponsoring the sixth annual “Safe and Healthy” Kids Fair. The event will take place on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at the Roberts Memorial Building in Keosauqua from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. and is open to all Van Buren County residents.

The fair will focus on keeping kids, ages 0-18 in the county, safe and healthy. Topics that will be covered include: child abuse prevention, nutrition, mental health, dental, immunizations, lead poisoning, fire and tornado safety, literacy, quality day care and preschools, parenting skills, and many more. Last year 35-40 exhibitors participated in the fair.

All school-aged children K-8 from Van Buren Community School, Harmony Community School and home-schooled children will receive free school supplies from the SIEDA/Post Office school supply drive. Handouts promoting health and safety will be given to each child as well as other community services, such as free eye exams and hearing screens. A raffle will also take place where two bikes will be given away as well as other prizes being donated by the various vendors.

SIEDA and the Van Buren County Post Offices are holding a school supply drive for the kids fair. They will be accepting donations from Friday, July 11, 2011 to Thursday, July 29, 2011. If you would like to donate school supplies to the kids fair you can drop them off at the SIEDA resource center in Keosauqua, Van Buren County Hospital, or your local post office by July 29, 2011. For a list of supplies needed you may contact Donna at 319-293-3722.

BACKPACKS ARE NEEDED!!– if you would like to donate a backpack for the kids fair contact Donna at the number above or drop them off at Community 1st Bank, Libertyville Savings Bank, State Central Bank or Farmers & Traders Bank by July 29th!

This event promotes the many resources we have available to the children of Van Buren County. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer please call 319-293-7157.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

SAFE Coalition is attending CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute

CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute is the only intensive, coalition-specific training opportunity of its kind, providing in-depth courses specifically designed to address a community leader’s biggest concerns and obstacles. It is being held this year in Anaheim, California on July 24-28, 2011. Participants take part in courses on everything from how to run a community anti-drug coalition to how to implement environmental strategies. The format of the training allows for small group work, real practice and knowledge application.

CADCA expects more than 1,200 attendees for a one-of-a-kind intensive, coalition-specific training opportunity. This year’s Mid-Year Training Institute provides an opportunity for coalition members to attend a variety of lecture and “lab” sessions to expand their knowledge in prevention science and improve skills in implementing evidence-based strategies. These in-depth courses are relevant for all coalitions. The following are the eight subject areas that will be addressed during the conference.

• Coalition Fundamentals: From Fluid to a Solid Foundation
• Partners: Bonding Your Coalition’s Building Blocks
• Environmental Strategies: High-Risk Settings That Shape Behaviors
• Advocacy: Reaching Critical Mass at the National, State, and Local Levels
• Social Media: Mixing Mediums to Share Your Message
• Evaluation: Developing Formal Proofs to Support Coalition Value
• Sustainability: The Phases of Diversified Funding
• Coalition Innovations: Experimenting with Emerging Trends

During this conference the SAFE Coalitions Coordinator, Heidi Bainbridge will be a trainer for one of the courses offered. She will be presenting on Coalition Considerations in Rural Settings. This course includes information on Coalitions operating in rural settings facing unique challenges and opportunities. It is offered for members of rural coalitions and provides opportunities for education and discussion about these issues. Building on participants’ experiences in implementing the Strategic Prevention Framework, the course includes a discussion of lessons learned, successes and challenges, and resources relevant to each SPF element including assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, capacity building, cultural competence and sustainability.

For more information on the CADCA Mid-Year Institute please contact the SAFE Coalition at or 319-293-6412. You can check out what the coalition is about and is doing on our website -; on our blog -; or on Facebook - Van Buren County SAFE Coalition.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Marijuana Facts

As there have been discussions about the legalization of marijuana for medical use in Iowa; the SAFE Coalition would like to share some facts for why it should not be legalized in Iowa. Marijuana is a hallucinogen with signs of intoxication including distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, problems with learning and memory, and difficulty in problem solving. Studies continue to show a connection between chronic marijuana usage and increased rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and schizophrenia. Marijuana growers continue to genetically engineer plants that have higher levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the main psychoactive ingredient in the plant. This has lead to an increase, statistically doubling the potency of the drug from 1998 to 2008.

Marijuana specifically impacts our communities in negative ways. National rates of marijuana use among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders are higher than rates for any other illicit drug. According to the 2010 Iowa Youth Survey, 26% of 11th graders in the state of Iowa report having ever used marijuana, with 13% being current users. 21% of Iowa youth report having begun marijuana use between 13 and 16 years of age. Iowa youth are being exposed to marijuana more often and at a younger age than historically seen. The facts above reflect a “Perfect Storm” of potential substance use.

A “Perfect Storm” occurs at the juncture of perception of risk/harm, perception of/or actual disapproval and availability of substances. By making marijuana more available in our towns and cities, the perception of the potential harm of marijuana will decrease as will the perception of disapproval associated with using marijuana. Marijuana use will become less physically harmful in the thoughts of youth and marijuana use will hold a lesser level of potential negative social consequences. Making marijuana more accessible impacts the public health and well being of Iowans, the strength of our families, and the lives of our children.

In addition, according to The Economic Impact of Illicit Drug Use on American Society (U.S. Department of Justice, National Drug Intelligence Center, 2011),illegal drugs already cost the United States $193 billion annually in increased health care costs, crime and lost productivity. Legalizing marijuana would exponentially exacerbate these costs.

For more information on the dangers of marijuana use and talking to your teens you may visit or contact The SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412, or check us out on Facebook or at