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What’s New For Schools

An informative monthly newsletter for Middlesex County educators

Vol.IV, No. 1, January 2010

New Report Shows that the Safe Schools/

Healthy Students Initiative Can Reduce
Violence and Promote Safer Schools
In the wake of several recent The Safe Schools/Healthy Students program
highly-publicized stories supports the implementation and enhancement
about violence among of integrated, comprehensive community-wide
school-aged children, a plans that create safe and drug-free schools
new report shows that and promote healthy childhood development.
school districts participating
in the Safe Schools/ Under the initiative, school districts, in
Healthy Students Initiative partnership with local public mental-
substantially improved health agencies, law-enforcement and
the safety of their students. juvenile justice entities, must implement
a comprehensive, community-wide plan
According to the report by the Substance Abuse that focuses on the following elements:
and Mental Health Services Administration • Safe school environments and
(SAMHSA), over a three-year period, school violence prevention activities
districts participating in the Safe Schools/ • Alcohol, tobacco and other
Healthy Students grant program reported drug prevention activities
fewer students involved in violent incidents, • Student behavioral, social and
decreased levels of experienced and witnessed emotional supports
violence, and improvements in overall • Mental health services
school safety and violence prevention. Key • Early childhood social and
findings from the Safe Schools/Healthy emotional learning programs.
Students National Evaluation include:
• A 15 percent decrease in the number of Since 1999, the U.S. Department of Health
students involved in violent incidents and Human Services, the U.S. Department
during the grant period (from 17,800 of Education, and the U.S. Department of
in year 1 to 15,163 in year 3). Justice have implemented the Safe Schools/
• A 12 percent decrease in the number Healthy Students Initiative, which has
of students reporting that they had provided more than $2.1 billion to local
experienced or witnessed violence from educational, mental health, law enforcement
year 1 of the grant period to year 3. and juvenile justice partnerships.
• Most staff at grantee schools reported
that the Initiative had made their schools For more information on the Safe Schools/
safer. By year 3 of the grant, 84 percent Healthy Students visit: http://www.
said the Initiative had improved school
safety, 77 percent said it had reduced
violence on campus, and 75 percent said it
had reduced violence in the community.
NCADD’s Acts of Prevention. Making a
difference in the community
The arts provide a safe outlet for all youth, Prevention performances are followed by a
families, and communities. This is regardless question and answer period moderated by a
of their culture and differences to express trained NCADD staff member. NCADD also
ideas, feelings, and opinions about coming works closely with professional school staff
into being as part of society, dealing with to ensure that support services are in place
hardships, happiness, stress, and illness once the program is completed. The entire
through creative expression. No other activity troupe of young adulkts is trained to send
allows us that voice. powerful and responsible messages with a
strong knowledge of the issues that they are
The arts allow us individually, collectively and presenting.
culturally to say things we might never get to
say. This is why NCADD currently offers Acts For more information on the Acts of Prevention
of Prevention. programs available to your school please
contact us 732-254-3344 or via email at
Acts of Prevention is a unique and exciting
program developed in response to the
changing needs of our youth. It is based Funding for the Acts of Prevention program
upon a collaborative relationship between was made possible through an initial grant
the arts and prevention. NCADD is able to from the PNC Foundation.
offer this educational, fun and empowering
programming to schools and communities.

NCADD’s Acts of Prevention Initiative

provides the community with an alternative
to traditional prevention activities. The many
components of programming can assist youth
by developing resiliency and increasing
emotional, behavioral, cognitive and cultural

This programming will provide options,

challenges, and an effective means for
promoting growth and change. Acts of

NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc. is a non-profit, community-based health organization serving

Middlesex County. Our mission is to promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities of
Middlesex County through the reduction or elimination of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use problems.
NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc.
152 Tices Lane
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Phone: 732-254-3344

What Students Really Think of Their
Education and Teachers
When 414,000 grade sixth through twelfth their classes and 64 percent believe
students speak, educators should listen. learning can be fun.

Adults’ ideas about students’ attitudes toward On the other hand:

their educational experience often are based • Only 38 percent of students felt their
on speculation and assumptions. The result classes help them understand what is
is a disconnect between what educators think happening in their everyday lives.
students need and how to meet those needs • 47 percent felt school is boring and only
and what students consider important. 31 percent felt teachers make school an
exciting place to learn.
That is why the results of the My Voice • Just 48 percent felt teachers care about
Aspiration Survey -- the largest study to date them as individuals and even fewer -- 45
of student perceptions from grades 6 to 12 of percent -- felt teachers cared if they were
the current academic environment -- are so absent from school.
critical. • Only 30 percent of students respect their
fellow students.
The final report is based on responses
from 414,000 students within 569 schools The survey was conducted between fall 2006
in 32 states from various socioeconomic and spring 2008 by the educational assessment
backgrounds. group of Pearson and the Quaglia Institute for
Student Aspirations (QISA) an educational
What the report indicates in part is that many research organization.
students enjoy school and want to succeed,
they also want their education to be more The above story provides an interesting
relevant to their everyday lives and teachers to insight into what students think. We’d like to
show more interest in them as individuals. know what you think. Please email us your
comments to and
Among the positive findings: we’ll publish them in an upcoming issue of
• 75 percent of students reported enjoying What’s New For Schools.
learning new things, and that same
percentage felt that what they learn will This article was based in part on information
benefit them in the future. available at
• 84 percent of students agree that getting
good grades is important, and 69 percent
feel testing is an important part of their
• 65 percent of students said they have a
teacher who is a positive role model.
• 49 percent of students taking the survey
enjoy being at school, 54 percent enjoy

NCADD Programmatic News
Steven G. Liga, MSW, LSW, LCADC, CPS, CCS Starting with this issue of What’s New for Schools we hope
CEO & Executive Director to bring you news and information on the various programs
NCADD delivers in County communities and schools. For
Alexandra Lopez, more information about NCADD’s programs please contact
Deputy Director Alexandra Lopez, Deputy Director, at 732-254-3344.
Ezra Helfand, BA
Public Information Coordinator
Rutgers Alliance for Sustainable
Jacqueline Jackson, MBA
Financial Manager Risk Reduction (RASRR)
East Brunswick Office NCADD, in partnership with the Rutgers
Lissette M. Bacharde
University Center for Alcohol Studies and the
Administrative Assistant Princeton Leadership Academy, recently began
Al-Karim Campbell, BA work on a strategic prevention framework state
Preventionist I incentive grant. The goal of the grant is to reduce
Luis Carrero, BSW dangerous drinking practices within the Rutgers
Preventionist I student population. Recent efforts have focused
Padma Sonti Desai, MA on data collection for a needs assessment and
Preventionist I building capacity within the coalition in order to
Dara Jarosz, MA, SAC enable RASRR to proceed to the planning phase
Clinician I
of the framework. In addition to faculty, staff,
Christina Rak-Samson, BA
Preventionist I and student volunteers from the university, many
community members from New Brunswick,
Linda Surks, BS, CPS
Preventionist II Piscataway and Highland Park have become
involved with the Community Advisory Panel—
Laura Tittel, BA
Preventionist I the coalition which will be the driving force
Jason Victor, BA, CPS
behind the planning and implementation of
Preventionist II future initiatives and programs. The finalized
Heather Ward, MSW, LSW
plan is expected to be released early in 2010.
Preventionist I

Carteret Office The Strengthening Families

Lauren Balkan, MSW, LCSW Program has done it again!!!
The last rotation of Strengthening Families in South
Christine Hughes, MSW, LSW
Preventionist I Brunswick was a great success! Seven families
Anna Kirzner MSW, LSW participated and were able to strengthen the bond
Clinician II within their individual family units. Families had
Lindsay Rich, MSW, LSW a great time together and walked away with key
Clinician II
information and tools to use themeselves or share
Dana Tosk
Administrative Assistant with others. The “Family Meetings” were a big
hit and past participating families indicate they
Board of Trustees continue to use the tools they learned as well!
President Vice President Strengthening Families is one of the most researched
Katherine Fallon Susan Neshin, M.D.
Treasurer Secretary prevention programs in the nation and according to
Bill DeJianne Sandra Martin a cost-benefit analysis (prepared by SAMHSA and
Past President CSAP,) it returns $15.3 for every dollar spent on the
Brian T. Rose
program. Another rotation will be starting shortly
Sharon Campbell at the Cambridge School in South Brunswick. The
Rakesh Ganta program is geared for parents and youth ages 10-
Steven S. Polinsky 14. Interested in bringing Strengthening Families to
George Rusuloj your school? Please contact Christina Rak-Samson
Marjorie Talbot
@732-254-3344 ext. 32

NOTE: These are two different classes

Training @ NCADD
Registration Form
To register, complete the registration form and fax to 732-254-4224
or mail with your check to NCADD-Training.
152 Tices Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816.



City:_________________________________________State: ____________ Zip:_______________________

Phone #: __________________ Fax:___________________ Email:___________________________________

Please register me for the following courses:

Course # and Date _________________ Course # and Date _________________ Course # and Date ________________

Check or money order payable to: NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc., 152 Tices Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

Or pay by credit card: VISA MasterCard American Express Discover

Account # ______________________________ Exp. Date __________ CCV # ________________
Name on Card _____________________________________________
Cardholder’s Billing Address: ___________________________________
City ____________________________ State _______________ Zip ____________
Signature _________________________________________________
Amount to be charged: $ _____

 I am a member of the Coalition for Healthy Communities (You have free access to CPS, CADC and
RECERT classes)

Scholarship Opportunities:
Individuals interested in receiving a CPS scholarship must complete an application (found at
and submit it prior to taking a class. Please note that the approval process will likely take a few weeks due to the anticipated demand for
scholarships and DAS’s involvement in selecting scholarship recipients.

NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc. is an approved provider for the Addictions Professionals Certification Board of New Jersey (APCBNJ) and the New Jersey
Department of Education/Professional Development (Provider #1417).