Raiders PROMISE Project in 2019

The Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 is an essential component in the PROMISE Project’s efforts to prevent substance misuse in Tamaqua’s youth. The program aims to reduce substance use and behavior problems during adolescence through improved skills in nurturing and child management by parents and improved interpersonal and personal competencies among youth. The topics include developing appropriate rules, encouraging good behavior, using consequences, building bridges, dealing with peer pressure, and protecting against substance misuse.

Level 1 of LST is currently being implemented within the 6th grade class of the Tamaqua Area Middle School by the Health and Physical Education teachers, Jay Daubert and Lynn Deiter, during the Health class rotation. During 2019, they were able to complete two full cycles of LST reaching 71 students in total and will be completing their third cycle in early 2020. There are a total of six cycles during the school year and they are on track to meet the goal of reaching 180 students by the end of the school year. Next year, Level 2 of LST will be added to the 7th grade health curriculum and Level 3 will be added to the 8th grade curriculum during the following year.

Moving forward, PROMISE plans to hold several Social Development Strategy trainings within the Tamaqua community. This will consist of training and educating the community at large on the SDS public health model. The model is an evidenced based framework which organizes protective factors into a simple strategy for action to promote positive youth development. It aims to recognize that positive social orientation, resiliency, and intellect can facilitate bonding and can be nurtured by communities and adults. The first SDS training will be delivered to the Tamaqua Area School District teachers and staff.

PROMISE will also be putting much of their focus into their prevention messaging campaign collaborating with community partners and state initiatives. Their messaging goals are  to 1) Raise Awareness of Prevention Efforts Being Made in the Community (both PROMISE and others) 2) Recruitment for SFP (and SDS at a later time, may not need to recruit immediately if done in schools) 3) Raise Awareness of the Dangers of Substance Use in Youth and Steps to Prevent It by utilizing messaging 4) Change the Mindset of the Community through Stigma presentations created by the Schuylkill Opiate Task Force and through positive messaging.

As part of this project, information is being gathered to document the effectiveness of these above-named project components. PROMISE is collecting pre- and post-survey information on youth knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors around substance use, family, school, and community-level protective factors. They will also be analyzing information on the quality of program delivery and program reach. The community’s school district-level PAYS data will be used to examine the effectiveness of this multi-level prevention project.

We hope to see the popularity of the PROMISE Project and their programs/initiatives continue to grow and to reach as many Tamaqua residents as possible. Creating a safe place for Tamaqua’s youth and preventing substance abuse is the number one priority.