Thursday, July 31, 2014

Van Buren County Youth Leadership Council News

The Van Buren County Youth Leadership Council has only had a few activities over the summer, but they are starting to gear up for the school year. Early in the summer five YLC members attended the ISTEP Summit in Pella, IA. This event is put on by Iowa Students for Tobacco Education and Prevention. Students who attended this event learned about addiction, information on how to form a chapter, information about new tobacco products and about the CADCA organization. The students brought back information that they can use in their community next school year as they develop activities to address the problems in their community.

As a part of the ISTEP summit participants have the opportunity to apply to be a part of the state-wide Executive Council. This year two Van Buren YLC members have been selected to be a part of this group; Cierstynn Welcher will serve as the ISTEP Vice President and Jacinta Wenke will also be a member of the executive council. Congratulations to these two students for their hard work and dedication!

YLC members also assisted with the Safe and Healthy Kids Fair on July 29th. This is an annual event held for all kids in Van Buren County. The Van Buren County Child Abuse Prevention Council along with its partners put together a variety of interactive booths to teach children about being safe and healthy. A highlight of this fair is the FREE school supplies and backpacks that all children in attendance receive. This year the YLC members held a photo booth where kids could dress up and get their photo taken with a drug, alcohol or tobacco-free message. The kids have a lot of fun at this booth and YLC members are able to get information out about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco! Students who assisted with the fair were: Victoria Halverson, Ceyera Jensen, Chase Murphy, Isabel Neeley, Russell Pilcher, Cheyenne Schmitter, Jacinta Wenke and Mackenzie Winslow.

YLC will be start meeting again at the start of the school year. Any student in grades 7-12 can become a member of the organization. If you or someone you know are interested in being a part of YLC you may visit the YLC website at: or you may call 319-293-6412.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Health advocates from the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition joined more than 1,700 substance abuse prevention specialists from across the country at Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's (CADCA) 2014 Mid-Year Training Institute in Orlando, FL July 20-24. The week-long training took place at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Hotel.

CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute is a one-of-a-kind intensive training opportunity, offering more than 70 half-day and two-day courses geared towards helping participants find solutions to their community’s toughest substance abuse problems. Attendees participated in a variety of lectures and hands-on sessions to expand their knowledge in prevention science and improve their skills in implementing evidence-based strategies to reduce drug and alcohol use. This year’s Mid-Year featured a number of renowned experts in the field of substance abuse prevention, such as Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy, and Kana Enomoto, Deputy Principal Administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“We were fortunate to be able to spend a week with other similar organizations from across the country, learning and honing our skills so we can more effectively prevent drug and alcohol abuse,” says, Heidi Bainbridge, Coalition Director. “We are reenergized with new strategies under our belt to tackle drug use and its associated problems in Van Buren County.”

CADCA’s Mid-Year covered a wide range of topics – everything from how to prevent prescription drug abuse and the abuse of synthetic drugs to how to create tobacco-free environments, reduce impaired driving and develop policies to reduce marijuana use and underage drinking.

Van Buren County SAFE Coalition seeks to stimulate community involvement to promote responsible behaviors among youth and adults, leading to a SAFE and healthy community.  For more information on the SAFE Coalition and its work in Van Buren County please contact us at 319-293-6412 or

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Let's Read - Safe & Healthy Kids Fair 2014

Consequences of Providing Alcohol to a Minor

Did you know… Many high school students report getting alcohol from a friend or family member who is 21 or older? The SAFE Coalition is working to reduce youth access to alcohol in Van Buren County and is asking for your help, think twice when buying alcohol for anyone under age 21.  For more information on the SAFE Coalition and underage drinking issues in Van Buren County please visit:  You may also contact the coalition at 319-293-6412 or online at  

Let’s Read * SAFE AND HEALTHY KIDS FAIR * July 29th — 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The Child Abuse Prevention Council will be sponsoring the eighth annual “Safe and Healthy” Kids Fair. The event will take place on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at the Roberts Memorial Building in Keosauqua from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and is open to all Van Buren County residents.
The fair theme this year will be Let’s Read with many fun games and activities for kids.  As always 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 safety, literacy, quality child 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 Schools, Harmony Community Schools and home-schooled children will receive free school supplies. Handouts promoting health and safety will be given to each child as well as other community services.  Free books and back packs will be given to students who attend the fair.  A raffle will also take place where prizes will be given away being donated by the various vendors. 

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 3, 2014

Social Host Law

Beginning July 1, every police and sheriff’s department in Iowa will have an additional tool to help reduce underage drinking: a social host law.

During the 2014 Iowa legislative session, through the efforts of numerous community members, prevention coalitions and Iowa legislators, the statewide social host law was sent to Gov. Terry Branstad, who later signed it into law. This means that when an adult knows youth 17 years old or younger are drinking in the homes, buildings or on property the adult owns, leases or rents – and the adult does nothing to stop it – he or she can be charged with a simple misdemeanor and fined $200. The social host law does not apply to landlords/managers of such property or juveniles who lawfully handle alcohol in their employment, or their managers.

The state social host law does not affect those social host ordinances already enacted by counties and cities.

An overwhelming majority of youth – 90 percent – reported that their parents did not want them to drink alcohol without their permission, according to the 2012 Iowa Youth Survey. In the same survey, obtaining alcohol at parties was identified as the most common way for Van Buren County youth to obtain alcohol. Some local community activists have been promoting social host ordinances at the city and state level for a number of years to address this condition.
Preventing youth from experiencing the personal heartache that is a consequence of underage drinking – in the form of accidents, sexual assaults, violence,unplanned pregnancy or alcohol poisoning – will always be a worthwhile endeavor. The social host law will be one more tool to reduce youth access to alcohol.

For more information on this law you may visit the SAFE Coalition website at or by contacting the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or