Start Talking! campaign offers TEACHable Moments resources; funding for Grade 5-9 prevention programs
Ohio drug deaths, including those caused by abusing prescription drugs, have increased 440 percent from 1999-2011, with prescription drugs driving much of that increase. Many kids are first using drugs as early as 11 and 12 years old. What can teachers do? Because children who talk with their parents and other authority figures about drugs are 50 percent less likely to use them, the new statewide initiative titled Start Talking! is providing teachers and parents with communication tools through the Know! program to help with these short but important conversations.
On the campaign website, you can sign up to receive emails with Know! TEACHable Moments, which are free one-page guides to help with brief, anti-drug discussions in the classroom. Although adaptable for many age groups, these guides are primarily targeted toward middle school students to help prevent first use of drugs. TEACHable Moments also will be posted in the News section on the Ohio Department of Education’s Web page about Start Talking! In addition, the campaign features tips for parents to help them talk with their children about drugs at home, reinforcing what students hear at school.
Start Talking! also has announced new available funding for evidence-based drug prevention programming that encourages resilience development and resistance to substance use. Programming for the 2014-2015 school year must target students in Grades 5-9, and in schools where 40 percent or higher of the population is eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. Funding is available through a reimbursement grant. Applications must be received by 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 14 and must be submitted electronically. Please see the programming section of the Start Talking! website for all application requirements.