The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition was awarded the Iowa Partnership for Success (IPFS) Grant in 2015 to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County. The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition’s IPFS project is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In June of 2016, the Iowa Department of Public Health approved the use of the Botvin Life Skills Training Curriculum at the Van Buren Community Jr. /Sr. High School to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County. On July 20, 2016, the Van Buren Community School Board approved the implementation of the program in the 7th and 8th grade Explorer Rotation beginning in the 2016-17 school year with the 7th-grade class. In the 2017-18 school year both the 7th and 8th Grade students will be participating in this program as the Life Skills Curriculum builds on the information provided each year.
The new edition of the Botvin LifeSkills Training Middle School program is a groundbreaking substance abuse and violence prevention program based on more than 30 years of rigorous scientific research. Now updated with new graphics, references, and statistics, it is proven to be the most effective evidence-based program used in schools today. LifeSkills Training is comprehensive, dynamic, and developmentally designed to promote positive youth development. In addition to helping kids resist drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, the LifeSkills Training Middle School program also effectively supports the reduction of violence and other high-risk behaviors.
The program learning objectives area as follows:
· Personal Self-Management Skills: Students develop skills that help them enhance self-esteem, develop problem-solving abilities, reduce stress and anxiety, and manage anger.
· General Social Skills: Students gain skills to meet personal challenges such as overcoming shyness, communicating clearly, building relationships, and avoiding violence.
· Drug Resistance Skills: Students build effective defenses against pressures to use tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.