Stop! The CYC of the Lake Placid and Wilmington area have received a Sober Truth on Preventing Underage drinking, or STOP grant.
The STOP grant, partnered with the Federal CYC grant is meant to make the efforts of the Drug Free Community efforts stronger.
The CYC applied for the grant in March and at the end of September they found out the group would be awarded the $48,358 grant.
Tina Clark, CYC Coordinator, said the grant will further help the organization aide youth in making better decisions about their health and well being by choosing to abstain from underage drinking.
“With this program we will be bringing in law enforcement, parents, youth and community members to bring about positive reinforcement for our youth,” Clark said.
The CYC plans to use the grant funding to increase community collaboration; increase the actual and perceived consequences for providing alcohol to teens; and increase the actual and perceived consequences of teen drinking.
Clark said by utilizing different pieces of the community, everyone can come together for a complete defense for the area youth.
Part of the effort focuses on local retailers to have increased motivation to make sure that they are not directly providing alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age.
To aide the efforts the group hopes to support Alcohol Basic Training for clerks and severs in Essex County. By going to the source the organization believes reducing access to alcohol will reduce alcohol use by youth.
The students will participate in “Project Sticker Shock,” to educate adults who might provide alcohol to youth about the law that prohibits providing alcohol to minors. Participating youth will place warning stickers on beer packages at participating local alcohol retailers. The sticker warns that it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors.
CYC will also try to reduce alcohol advertising by merchants. The goal is to reduce alcohol advertising in stores by 50 percent.
Clark said the Lake Placid and Wilmington area has been challenged with getting parents to participate in programming. The tourist economics demand many parents work shifts which does not allow them to come to school functions. Clark said parents are key to influencing their children’s decisions about alcohol use.
The CYC hopes to develop a task force of community representatives who have access to parents. The Action Team will include parents, representatives from the CYC Coalition, community service agencies, county agencies, civic organizations and faith based groups. The Action Team will inform and guide initiatives to involve parents in discouraging youth alcohol use.
“Our goal is for the combined agencies to help us understand the factors in our community encourage kids to drink or become involved in risky behaviors,” Clark said. “We need to understand that in order to make change in the community.”
For more information about CYC go to ConnectingYouth.com.