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Champions tackles local drug problem from many fronts

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Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County works hard on a daily basis to help diminish the substance abuse problem in Carroll County. And as many of you know, there is a definite problem in Carroll County with alcohol and drug abuse.

We don’t try to hide the problem, or “sweep it under the rug.” We want everyone to be as informed as they can be. That is part of our job, to inform and prevent.

There were a couple of drug-related articles in The News-Democrat last week. Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County is partner in local war against drugs. We want our community to be informed on what we have done and what we have planned for the future to diminish the drug issue in Carroll County.

We realize there is no way to completely wipe out the epidemic, but with Champions’ help, along with other institutions, we plan to fight the fight and make a difference, and get families on the right track to a drug-free lifestyle.

Relatives Raising Relatives:This is a monthly support group that Champions sponsors in conjunction with the Youth Service Center, the Lighthouse and Family Ties. It serves as a meeting place for guardians who are raising their relatives – grandparents raising their grandchildren, aunts/uncles raising their nieces or nephews, etc. Nearly 300 children in Carroll County are being raised by someone other than their biological parents. This support group is a way to inform guardians on updated procedures and provide tips, tools, educational materials and fellowship with others raising relatives.

Junior Champions and CHAMPS Clubs:  Junior Champions is a club offered at the 21st Century Lighthouse every Tuesday from 4-5 p.m. for students in fourth through eighth grade. Students take part in many fun activities, receive snacks and make crafts with friends. CHAMPS is offered monthly at Carroll County High School during school hours. It gives students in ninth through 12th grade a chance to participate in special activities with their peers and participate in events that prove our students have better things to do than drugs. We have a great group of students who participate in both clubs, and we would love to have more. Parents/guardians are more than welcome to encourage their youth to participate.

Girl/Boy Scout programs:We offer a great hands-on, educational program to Boy and Girl Scouts. We implement a program called STARS — Start Taking Alcohol Risks Seriously. This program helps the troops earn badges while making a craft, playing a game, reading a book and learning facts all along the way. If you or someone you know is interested in having Champions visit a Scout troop, contact us today and we will be glad to attend your troop meetings.

Adult education programs:In conjunction with Cristina Marsh, Jefferson Community and Technical College’s Adult Education program manager, and her classroom, Champions offers an adult-education program that gives citizens a chance to be informed on community issues that involve law enforcement help and drug diminishing facts and figures.

Character Counts lessons with Carroll County Middle School and Kathryn Winn: Champions offers their expertise during times of need for CCMS and Kathryn Winn Primary School. When guest speakers are needed, Champions loves to help out and give Character Counts lessons to students of all ages. Just recently we gave lessons to sixth graders and will soon be giving lessons to Kathryn Winn students on respect and the importance of it in everyday life. After all, teaching youth at a young age that having self respect is crucial when deciding to make positive decisions, not partaking in drugs or alcohol.

Summer learning Enrichment programs:There is a great group of staff members planning a summer enrichment program for our students. There will be more details to come, but Champions will be a part of some other great programs to offer a fun and educational experience.

Hot Spot cards/anonymous tip boxes/Rx drop boxes:There are more than 30 locations around Carroll County that house our Hot Spot Cards, from businesses to schools you can find these cards and fill them out anonymously to let us know about any suspicious activity throughout the community. You can mail them to P.O. Box 790 or 1706 Highland Ave., in Carrollton. We are also in the process of finishing our anonymous tip boxes which have been built by Tim Mason’s carpentry class at the vocational school. We have four ready to be placed at CCMS. More will be placed in the CCHS bathrooms and other locations around the community as well. Rx drop boxes are located at the Sheriff’s Office, Carroll County Memorial Hospital, Carrollton Police Department and a mobile unit as well for your convenience to drop off any old or unneeded prescription drugs.

Monthly coalition meetings: Our monthly Champions Coalition Meetings are held every fourth Thursday of each month at Carroll County Public Library at 11:30 a.m. They are open to the public and there is usually a guest speaker that varies on different topics. We invite the community to come, give their thoughts, feelings, concerns, ask questions and also take part in our task forces.

Website and Facebook pages:Visit and like our Facebook page: Carroll County Champions. We update daily with statistics, photos from events, educational materials, and giveaways. Also, visit our new and improved website: www.sites.google.com/site/carrollcountychampions. Here you can explore different tabs to learn more about what we do and offer, other resources, our monthly newsletter and more.

Other events sponsored in part by Champions include Red Ribbon Week, Informational Substance Abuse Trailer, the Great American Smokeout, Homemaker’s Event, Make and Take Event, Champions booth set up at CCHS football/basketball games and more.

These are just a few events that we are proud to sponsor and take part in. 

Our mission is to work with the community to reduce and prevent substance use and violence among youth, their families and those in future generations. We work every day to ensure that we have done our absolute best to make this a reality in our community.

If you have questions or would like to volunteer with an event, please contact the Champions office at (502) 732-8304.

 

Hayley Franklin is assistant coordinator of Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County.