Prevention Coalition receives grant for school program
Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition representative Cheryl Jonese reported at the board of education meeting November 13 that the coalition has received a grant for a new school program.
The organization currently has two programs in the schools teaching students about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
“The fifth grade program – Keep a Clear Mind – it’s a series of four booklets that help students make the right decision around tobacco, alcohol and marijuana,” Jonese said. “In sixth grade, we have a program called STARS – Start Taking Alcohol Risks Seriously – which is basically targeted at alcohol prevention.”
The grant, awarded by the American Medical Association, will be used for a small program with elementary age students.
“It’s a very small grant, but enough to do a 45 minute segment in all the schools for third and fourth graders,” Jonese said. “We are going to be working with Pocahontas Memorial Hospital.”
Materials for the program include booklets about prescription drugs.
“The name of our program is going to be ‘Don’t Mess with Meds,’” Jonese said. “What we’re going to do in a very age appropriate way with the medical staff to just give kids some basic information about it. Let them know medicines are good, if they are used properly and not so good if they aren’t.”
Jonese said the program will be presented in the schools in April.
• Family Resources Network director Laura Young updated the board on the dropout prevention grant. She said the first round of money will be sent in November, with the second coming in April.
Young added that she wants to do a Pride survey with the students to evaluate where the issues lie when it comes to dropouts and substance abuse.
On the recommendation of West Virginia state coordinator for student success advocate Shelly DeBerry, Young recommended the board also allow the state to do a culture and climate evaluation in the schools.
The board told Young to move forward with the survey and contact DeBerry to schedule the culture and climate evaluation.
• Green Bank resident Bob Sheets approached the board with a proposal to use the board’s land in Green Bank as a handicapped/senior citizen hunting area.
Sheets took the proposal to the county commission with regard to the county’s land and said the commission agreed it was a good idea to use the land for hunting. He added that he would also like to see walking trails developed for the seniors or other organizations to use for exercise.
Sheets said he wants to involve the DNR and the NRAO in the development contingent upon legality and funding. He said he is still unclear if it is illegal to have guns on board of education owned land.
Board member Kenneth Vance agreed that he wasn’t sure of the legality, but agreed it is a good idea for use of the land. He said he would rather look into proposals to sell the land, which the board of education bought in 1969.
Vance said it would be too late for the hunting season this year, but maybe by next year, the program could be put into place. Until then, he said the board should have the timber on the land crusied to see if any of it is viable to sell.
Assistant Superintendent and Treasurer Alice Irvine said she would contact John Rossell to cruise the timber.
• Student representative Cassidy Rao reported the National Honor Society is sponsoring a blood drive on December 11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pocahontas County High School. She added that the NHS, Project Christmas and Natural Helpers clubs are collaborating on a food drive and have opened the collection up to the community. There is a drop-off box at the Dunmore Country Mart and Bakery.
In financial management, the board approved the following:
• Payment of vendor listing of claims in the amount of $18,516.09.
• Payment of vendor listing of claims in the amount of $56,955.59.
• Payment to United Bank, local government purchasing card, in the amount of $106,158.34.
• Revenue and Expenditure Summary and Bank Reconciliation.
In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:
• Revisions to the following policies: GAD – County Profession Staff Development Council and GBRL – Drug-Free Workplace.
• Travel requests for November 13.
In personnel management, the board approved the following:
• Three-day unpaid suspension of Jessica Dean, teacher at Marlinton Elementary School, due to neglect of duty.
• Employment of Ricky W. Davis and Kenneth J. Samples as substitute bus operators for Pocahontas County Schools, effective November 15 for the remainder of the 2012-2013 fiscal year, as needed.
The next board meeting will be November 26, at 7 p.m. in the board of
education conference room.
Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org