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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

AG’S OFFICE, GE FOUNDATION SEEK APPLICATIONS FROM PUBLIC MIDDLE SCHOOLS FOR SUBSTANCE USE PREVENTION GRANTS

AG’S OFFICE, GE FOUNDATION SEEK APPLICATIONS FROM PUBLIC MIDDLE SCHOOLS FOR SUBSTANCE USE PREVENTION GRANTS
Funding to Come from Project Here, a Collaboration Between AG’s Office and GE Foundation

BOSTON – As part of her office’s ongoing efforts to combat the opioid crisis, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that Project Here has opened the application period for a new grant program to fund evidence-based substance use prevention curricula to public middle schools in Massachusetts.

The Project Here Substance Use Prevention Curriculum Grant program is open to public middle schools across the state and is part of Project Herea public-private partnership launched by the AG’s Office, the GE Foundation, The Herren Project, Health Resources in Action, and Epicenter Experience to empower students to make healthy decisions.

“We are giving grants directly to local schools to fund the prevention education our students need,” said AG Healey. “There’s a huge unmet need for this programming and we need to stop substance use before it starts.”

“With partners like AG Healey, we’re making real progress in the fight against substance use and the opioid crisis across Boston and Massachusetts,” said Ann R. Klee, President, GE Foundation. “Project Here resources are already helping educate our youth today. These grants provide critical funding to prevent our kids from falling into the vicious cycle of the opioid epidemic.”

Announced in May 2017, Project Here is a $2 million project dedicated to promoting healthy decision-making by making educational resources available to public middle schools at no cost.

To date, more than 200 middle schools across the state have registered to participate in Project Here. All registered schools receive access to an educational toolkit, which includes teacher guides, lesson plans, posters, videos, and other educational resources. The toolkit also provides students with the opportunity to connect to a support network of licensed social workers at The Herren Project.

The Project Here Substance Use Prevention Curriculum Grant will provide selected middle schools funding to implement one of three evidence-based prevention curricula: Botvin LifeSkills Training, Michigan Model for Health, or Positive Action. These options were selected to provide schools with curricula that are proven to positively impact students’ behavior, while allowing them flexibility to choose a program that will best meet their school and community needs. Recognizing that some schools may already have an evidence-based program that they wish to supplement, the grant program allows schools to apply for a supplemental evidence-based curriculum of their choice.

The AG’s Office and the GE Foundation anticipate awarding multiple grants to applicants across the state for up to two years of curriculum implementation. Applicants must register with Project Here, if they have not already done so, and are encouraged to collaborate with community prevention partners, such as community coalitions or regional prevention collaboratives.

Schools that participate in Project Here will also have access to a digital app that will serve as a fun educational vehicle for students to learn about substance use and practice healthy decision-making skills. The app will be available to registered schools in the coming months. 

The Project Here initiative is the latest effort by AG Healey to address the unmet need for youth prevention and education services to combat the opioid epidemic, a key priority of her administration. In May, the AG’s Office distributed $700,000 in settlement funding directly to school districts, nonprofits and community organizations to fund prevention programming through its Youth Opioid Prevention Grant Program
Young people are particularly vulnerable to the risks of substance use. Ninety percent of all adults struggling with addiction started using when they were under the age of 18, and 50 percent were under the age of 15. Studies have shown that effective substance use education and prevention programming can significantly decrease the risk of substance use among young people.
Questions regarding the RFP may be submitted to info@here.world by email until 4 PM on June 1, 2018. Full proposals must be submitted online at www.here.world/grant by 4 PM on June 15, 2018.