InnerAct Aliance and its coalition partners are celebrating successful funding news for the second consecutive month! The agency, in collaboration with the Polk Education Foundation, has been awarded an Evidence Based Practices in Schools Grant of $100,000 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The grant will fund a successful program, developed by Dennis Embry, Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins University, to reduce classroom disruptions and incidences that hinder learning and affect long term behavior. Up to 2,500 students in the Polk County school system will be served by the StandUP for Polk's Children program over a period of 5 years. It is expected to involve 500 students in the first year, 1000 in the second, 1500 in the third, 2000 in the fourth, and 2500 in the fifth and final year. The population will include five elementary schools with free and reduced lunch services covering at least fifty percent of the student body.
The program's long term measurements show benefits including: a rate of 86% of participants attained their high school diploma, compared to 19% of similar students who did not participate in the program; 99% of non-participants used illicit drugs, compared to 66% of program participants; and 88% of non-participants demonstrated anti-social behavior in later years, compared to 43% of the program participants. Measured short term goals include reduced classroom disruptions and disciplinary actions.
InnerAct Alliance, formerly the Drug Prevention Resource Center, has worked diligently for the past 25 years to reduce the abuse and underage use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs through: Community Awareness and Involvement; Prevention Education; Economic Support; and Leadership Development. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency serves as the fiscal agent for the StandUP Polk (adult) and UthMpact (youth) Coalitions for a Drug-Free Polk to help educate about the dangers of substance abuse and bring about positive changes for Polk County. For information on the Evidence Based Practices in Schools Grant, StandUP Polk and InnerAct Alliance prevention programs and services, please contact Angie Ellison, Executive Director, at (863) 802-0777.
The Polk Education Foundation, also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, serves as the direct support organization for the Polk County School Board, raising funds to provide services to students and teachers in the school district over and above what tax dollars can provide. Providing student scholarships and classroom grants are a large part of the Foundation's work. For additional information on the Polk Education Foundation, please contact Susan Copeland, Executive Director, at (863) 534-0434.