Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
Anti-Drug & Alcohol Crusaders, Inc. (ADAC) will expand its existing program that will allow them to teach violence prevention education in a classroom and community-based setting to more youth in grades K-12 in Philadelphia using evidence-based curricula. ADAC is a non-profit organization that has been in operation for 35 years delivering violence and substance misuse prevention curricula and activities for its “out-of-school time” (OST) program to youth and families residing in Philadelphia. ADAC recently transitioned from on-site to offering school-based violence and substance misuse prevention programs. ADAC is currently serving six K-12 schools in West, Southwest, and North Philadelphia. These are the parts of the city with the highest level of gun violence and had the most shootings in 2020. In addition to the schools requesting additional classes, ADAC has a waitlist of three schools. The trauma of violence occurring in the children’s homes, neighborhood, and throughout their community trickles into the school environment, resulting in a climate that is less conducive to learning and a rise in students’ negative behaviors. ADAC is also partnered with three summer camp sites to ensure youth continue to receive prevention education during the summer. ADAC will also expand its Parent & Family Support Services, which involve advocacy for families who are experiencing trauma; are experiencing a mental health illness or substance abuse disorder; are in need of food, housing, employment, and other basic needs; and have youth showing signs of substance misuse, aggression, and violence or have begun to engage in violent behaviors. Their Family Advocate/Practitioners (FA/P) provide needed resources and referrals to support the families’ needs. The FA/P also provides a parent program using an evidence-based curriculum to address parenting skills. This expansion of ADAC’s programs will allow ADAC to serve more families in Philadelphia and will support about 1300 students and about 200 parents/families who are in need of individual support. The goals of the project are to: decrease/prevent the onset of school violence among youth; provide youth with the tools necessary to solve conflicts, communicate more effectively, and make positive choices overall; provide opportunities for youth to connect with their peers to promote healthy relationships; promote healthy parent-child relationships; increase positive parenting and parental confidence; provide families with resources, referrals, and support on youth behavior concerns; and collaborate/partner with prevention providers and community stakeholders to provide prevention services to the youth and community.