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Windham County Prevention Partnership announces five-year grant, key initiatives

To learn more about the Windham County Prevention Partnership and its projects and initiatives, visit www.windhampartnership.org.

BRATTLEBORO—Windham County Prevention Partnership, a group of four prevention coalitions in Windham County, has received a five-year grant from the Vermont Department of Health to reduce substance misuse, especially among the state’s highest-risk groups, including youth, young adults, and LGBTQ+ youth.

As part of this grant, the partnership will focus on a series of initiatives leveraging research-based methods and assets that build youth resiliency and allow communities to thrive.

Windham County Prevention Partnership (WCPP) consists of Deerfield Valley Community Partnership, Greater Falls Connections, West River Valley Thrives, Building A Positive Community in Brattleboro, and Youth Services Inc., organizations providing substance misuse prevention services in support of youth and families across the 49 towns and villages of Windham County.

Funded by this new grant, WCPP will be educating communities on developmental assets throughout the region, which comprise 40 positive supports and strengths young people need to succeed in their lives.

Among these include setting boundaries and expectations, personal empowerment, positive identity and values, commitment to learning and constructive use of time.

These assets, identified by the Search Institute, a nonprofit Minneapolis youth research organization, range from social and emotional support systems to the opportunities and relationships young people enjoy within their families, schools and wider communities.

Drawing from these assets, WCPP plans to build on the existing strengths, values and supports of the youth of Windham County, creating a stronger, more sustainable community for individuals and families to grow and prosper.

“We’re really excited that we just got a new five-year grant to expand on our work and to really share our resources, expertise and knowledge in becoming more effective with our prevention work across the county,” said Cindy Hayford, director of Deerfield Valley Community Partnership, said in a news release. “What I think we are most proud of is our ability to work together in support of each other, which ultimately translates into better serving our youth.”

This grant is more formally known as the Vermont Department of Health’s Strategic Prevention Framework–Partnerships for Success 2020 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) award. SAMHSA is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

WCPP’s members, who support youth and families throughout Windham County, have been working in close collaboration for the past seven years. They received their initial funding from the Vermont Department of Health’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, through a federal grant. This latest grant solidifies the group’s plans to continue working on key initiatives through 2025.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #588 (Wednesday, November 18, 2020).

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