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Nassau schools get funds for drug awareness day

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano (March 19, 2012)

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano (March 19, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

As part of Nassau County’s early intervention drug and alcohol abuse prevention efforts, County Executive Edward Mangano will provide funding to up to 29 Nassau schools and school district partners so that they can devote a full day during October to raise awareness of substance abuse and underscore healthy living choices.

“Healthy Choices should promote social and emotional wellness and address problem behaviors that lead to alcohol and other drug abuse,” Mangano said in a statement. “Schools should develop and implement this event based upon the identified risk and protective factors prevalent within each school and community.”

Professionals from the county’s Mental Health and Chemical Dependency agency will oversee the project, which offers $1,275 to each participating school or school district to produce an awareness event for the district tailored to the substance abuse prevention needs of that community.

Mangano said the hope is that all 29 schools/districts with which Nassau has contracts for prevention services will join in implementing a Healthy Choices substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion event. It may be a stand-alone event or the district can incorporate it within its Red Ribbon Week activities from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31.

Districts have until Monday to apply. Only seven districts have applied so far, a county official said.

The $37,000 in funds for the Healthy Choices project comes from $321,068 in funding the county restored to its chemical dependency provider contracts in 2013.

The county’s school district partners include: Baldwin, Bellmore, Bellmore-Merrick, St. Brigid, East Meadow, East Rockaway, Elmont, Garden City, Great Neck, Hempstead, Herricks, Island Trees, Jericho, Levittown, Malverne, Massapequa, Mineola, North Bellmore, North Shore, Oceanside, Plainview-Old Bethpage, Port Washington, Rockville Centre, Uniondale, Valley Stream Central, Wantagh, Westbury and West Hempstead.

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