To be safe and drug free costs Demopolis schools money

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 19, 2005

DEMOPOLIS- Demopolis City Schools need funding to teach area students drug awareness.

The system will submit an application to the Alabama State Department of Education to receive allocated funds for three school systems.

Demopolis City Schools, Linden City Schools, and Marengo County Schools hope to receive funds they can put together to get the necessary resources.

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“There is so little funding available to each system,” Gina Johnston, Federal Programs Coordinator for the Demopolis City School Board, said. “That’s why we pool the money.”

Johnston estimated last year’s total funding for all three systems to be about $30,000.

The money is used to fund research-based programs in attempts to keep schools safe and drug free.

The state provides mandates and guidelines on how to spend allocated funding. Thus, programs such as “Too Good For drugs,” “Project Alert,” and “Discovery Health Connections” have been approved by the state to be funded.

The programs are designed to teach students drug awareness and how drugs can affect their health.

“Sixth through 12th grade students get the opportunity to answer a survey about the problems that are out there,” Johnston said. “They can also ask questions about how it will affect their health.”

According to Johnston, the Discovery Health Connections program provides teachers with the tools needed to teach the dangers drugs can pose to health.

“Hopefully we are getting fewer children referred to the juvenile court system because of drug abuse,” she said.

With hopes of getting funding for the programs to start their third year in area schools, Johnston said the numbers of children abusing drugs have decreased since the 2003-2004 school year.

If you have questions regarding the expenditure of these funds, contact Johnston at 289-1670.