The Sabine Prevention Alliance (SPA) is a coalition of community members representing various sectors within Sabine Parish. SPA has been busy meeting and working with interested parents, schools, health, business, and enforcement leaders who are moving the work of the alliance forward. Our goal is to help keep our children and youth safe, sober and successful. So far this month we have met with Negreet, Florien, Converse and Zwolle school staff to introduce the Communities Talk Event and to identify existing events, clubs and organizations who may want to join us in this community effort.
We are now in the planning stages for the “Communities Talk” town hall meetings to be hosted in each of our parish schools. Local town hall meetings designed to increase awareness of the prevalence of underage drinking, identify proven strategies that will prevent and reduce some of the root causes and local conditions related to underage drinking and unify our communities in their efforts to take action.
During the month of September, the SPA developed and improved its action plan, formed committees and assigned members as voices for their respective communities. The coalition staff has increased with the addition of Tomiko Ladkin in the role of Community Liaison. Tomiko schedules and attends events, collects evaluation data, manages our social media outlets and helps develop educational materials for kids and families. SPA members and staff have scheduled the following events booked for the next two months:
September 22nd, St. John’s Youth Listening Group @ 4:30pm
September 26th, Negreet, Zwolle, and Converse Parent/Teacher Days @ 9a-10p
September 27th Sabine Parish Fair Day Information Booth @ 9a-10p
October 7th Florien High School Carnival 5p-8p
October 11th & 12th, The Zwolle Tamale Fiesta Information Booth 9a-6p
October 23rd-31st Red Ribbon Events at various Schools in conjunction with S.A.D.D. Clubs
October 25th Converse High School, The 5th Quarter event.
November 2nd Florien Free-state Festival Information Booth, 10am-10pm
The SPA will continue with its first objective, which is increasing awareness through community events. We will know if we are making progress through community feedback, sector data and bi-annual CCYS data. This is the work of the SPA.
A Call to Action
What’s in it for YOU? We need youth, families and community members to come join the work. As I have gone out into our communities, I have met so many people who are willing and able to get involved in sending this prevention message by word and action. By becoming involved in this work, my motivation and enthusiasm for positive change has increased significantly. When one gets involved in meaningful community prevention work, one feels better about self and others. You will also sleep better knowing that we are doing something to help all of our kids. “When you are in the service of your fellow man, you are in the service of your Lord.”
What can you do to help?
James Wagley, SPA Coalition Coordinator