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Prescription Drug Take Back Event Collects Over 1993 Pounds of Pills - 05/02/16
On Saturday, April 30th, 1,020 Clark County residents dropped off over 1993 pounds of medicine with local law enforcement officers and volunteers. The medicine disposal event was held at four locations throughout the county where a steady stream of cars waited to hand over prescription medicines and other medicines. The busiest location was Cascade Park Kaiser Permanente, serving 430 participants and bringing in almost 920 pounds of pills. All pills were separated from plastic containers where they will be transported for incineration. Plastics will be recycled.

The prescription drug disposal event is a biannual community partnership including Clark County Sheriff's Office, Vancouver Police Department, La Center Police Department, Battle Ground Police Department, Clark County Environmental Services, PREVENT! The Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Clark County, Kaiser Permanente, Clark College, and La Center United. Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem. The 2014 Washington State Healthy Survey found that 6% of high school seniors admitted misusing prescription drugs. Most teens get prescription drugs they abuse from friends and relatives, sometimes without the person knowing. Proper drug disposal also is an environmental issue. Unused medications should not be flushed down the toilet or dumped down the drain.

PREVENT! would like to thank Kaiser Permanante for hosting two sites, as well as providing the vendor for the plastic recycling. Thank you to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center for supplying prescription drug lock boxes (Pill pods) to each member of the public who turned in unused medications.

Unwanted medications can be disposed of year round at several collection sites across Clark County. Controlled substances, such as pain killers and tranquilizers, can be taken to participating law enforcement agencies. Non-controlled substances, such as over-the-counter medications, can be taken to local participating pharmacies.

For more information on both types of disposal, visit "Medications" at RecyclingA-Z.com.
For more information about other disposal or recycling options, visit RecyclingA-Z.com or call Clark County Environmental Services at (360) 397-2121 ext. 4352. Or PREVENT! Coalition at (360) 952-3397 or www.preventclarkcounty.org.
ESD 112 to open new behavioral intervention center in Cowlitz County - 04/20/16
A vacant Longview building previously used as both a skating rink and a fitness center, will soon become the new home of Quest Academy, a program that supports Cowlitz County students who require a more therapeutic learning environment. A program of Educational Service District 112, Quest Academy will serve students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Students identified for the program will receive support and assistance designed to help them improve their academic and social skills, develop more appropriate behavioral controls and increase self-esteem.

Quest Academy is modeled after a similar program in Evergreen Public Schools called the 49th Street Academy. Students have varying degrees of cognition, but share a common need for behavioral interventions and supports. Certificated special education teachers along with specially trained support staff work closely with students' schools and families to maximize academic achievement.

ESD 112 Superintendent Tim Merlino and Associate Superintendent of Specialized Services Birth-21, Mary Mertz, worked with the Cowlitz County school superintendents over the past two years to bring the project to fruition.

Susan Barker, Castle Rock School District superintendent, has been a strong proponent of the program and applauded the ESD 112/school district partnership. "We've talked about a program like this in Cowlitz County for many years," said Barker. "I often hear of the 'planets being in alignment' and believe it was a similar set of circumstances that allowed us to achieve this long-time dream," she added.

Kelso Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich agreed. "We are thrilled to be able to provide this level of support for students in Cowlitz County. The setting and program model at the Quest Academy will help ensure greater success for these students," he added.

ESD 112 is currently recruiting staff for the program and plans to open the Academy by November 1, 2016.
ESD 112 region schools receive state's highest honor - 04/19/16
Twelve schools in the ESD 112 region are 2015 Washington Achievement Award winners.

The Washington Achievement Award is sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the State Board of Education. Award winners are selected using the state's Accountability Index and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver.

Schools are recognized as top performers in one of seven categories:

* Overall Excellence
* High Progress
* English Language Arts Growth
* Math Growth
* Extended Graduation Rate (only awarded to high and comprehensive schools)
* English Language Acquisition
* Achievement Gap

"The Achievement Awards recognize schools and educators making a difference in student outcomes," said Isabel Muñoz-Colón, State Board of Education Chair. "Award recipients are schools that have made measurable progress helping students prepare for college, career, and life. The Achievement Awards are one way we can learn more about the successful strategies Washington schools are using to help our kids."

"OSPI and the State Board of Education have spent a lot of time on the achievement index," said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. "We're very proud of the schools recognized for their performance on the index. Each school shows sustained growth or excellence, or both. I congratulate each and every school for the hard work they've done."

ESD 112 region schools receiving the award are:

Battle Ground School District--Captain Strong Elementary (High Progress) and Laurin Middle School (English Language Acquisition).

Camas School District--Grass Valley Elementary (English Language Acquisition); Helen Baller Elementary (High Progress and English Language Acquisition); Lacamas Heights Elementary (High Progress); Liberty Middle School (Overall Excellence and Math Growth); Skyridge Middle School (Overall Excellence and Math Growth).

Evergreen School District--Mill Plain Elementary (Math Growth).

Kelso School District--Barnes Elementary (High Progress).

Ridgefield School District--South Ridge Elementary School (Overall Excellence and English Language Acquisition).

Washougal School District--Hathaway Elementary School (Overall Excellence).

Woodland School District--Woodland Primary School (English Language Acquisition).


The award-winning schools will be honored at a ceremony on May 10 at Union Gap School outside of Yakima.


More information
· WAA criteria and list of winners: http://www.k12.wa.us/EducationAwards/WashingtonAchievement


ABOUT ESD 112:
Educational Service District 112 enables school districts to concentrate more time, money and energy on student learning. Headquartered in Vancouver, ESD 112 provides local and regional cooperative programs and services to school districts and communities in the six counties of Southwest Washington. ESD 112 was established by the Legislature in 1969 as one of nine regional educational service centers to work in partnership with local communities and school districts to provide support services for student instruction, professional development for staff, and technical assistance in the administration of schools. The agency offers more than 250 cooperatives and services ranging from interactive telecommunications to a child care consortium. There are 30 public schools, 23 private schools, two state schools and 26 child care centers serving 100,000 students and 15,000 school employees who benefit from ESD services.

#####
MEDIA ALERT: Weed Can Wait Campaign Launches on 4/20 at Discovery Middle School - 04/18/16
--WHAT--
The first of five pop-up parties at Clark and Skamania County schools to introduce kids to the Youth Now #WeedCanWait campaign happens at Discovery Middle School in Vancouver on 4/20. There will be a photo booth and wearable give aways (temporary tattoos, wristbands and beanies) to remind youth of why they should wait until after reaching legal age.

--WHERE--
Discovery Middle School
800 E 40th St, Vancouver, WA 98663

--WHEN--
On 4/20 during all 3 lunch periods:
* 10:30 -- 11:00
* 11:15 -- 11:45
* 12:00 -- 12:30

--WHO--
Over a thousand Vancouver teens and tweens supplied the voice and direction for Youth Now, a youth-focused marijuana prevention campaign launching on 4/20, a day normally synonymous with the code for smoking cannabis.

While the messaging and how it's delivered is directed by local youth, the execution of the campaign is supported by PREVENT! Coalition. The coalition brings together a wide circle of community members for the common goal of creating greater health and well-being for everyone. Even those with seemingly opposite opinions about marijuana, like local law enforcement and recreational retailers New Vansterdam and High End Market Place, are coming together to support youth prevention. The Youth Now campaign, run by Clark County's PREVENT! Coalition, is the result of a Department of Health grant funded by Washington State tax dollars from marijuana sales.

--WHY--
The campaign's main message, Weed Can Wait, aims to encourage youth to delay first use of cannabis until after the legal age of 21 in Washington and Oregon. Here's why:
* According to the Healthy Youth Survey, an increasing number of Clark and Skamania County youth are beginning to use marijuana regularly as early as 5th and 6th grades.

* Brains continue to develop through age 25.

* Marijuana affects the parts of the brain that control emotions, memory and judgment.

* The earlier a youth begins to use drugs, the more likely they are to progress to dependence.

* Heavy marijuana use by teens has been linked to lower grades, lower likelihood of graduating from high school or enrolling in college and a higher likelihood of earning a lower income or being unemployed

* If cited with underage use teens can lose federal financial aid and incur other societal consequences




THE 411 ON YOUTH NOW:
* 1,200 local middle and high school kids took an anonymous survey asking questions about how youth engage with marijuana prevention messages and how they perceive their exposure or risk. The PREVENT! Coalition used those comments to shape the message language and delivery for Youth Now.

* Outreach includes:

* An aggressive social media campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat

* Pop-up parties at five schools in Clark and Skamania Counties to raise awareness

* In partnership with Leadership Clark County, "Lock it up" cards reminding adults to keep their cannabis secure and out of reach at home will be given out with every purchase at New Vansterdam and High End Market Place marijuana retailers

* Ads on 20 bus tails and inside 40 buses starting May 15th

* Ads on Pandora, a popular free music app

* The Cannabis Conversations Toolkit with common marijuana slang, consumption methods, effects, reasons for use and age-specific talking points to help adults talk with youth


About PREVENT!
Founded in 2006, PREVENT! is a group of diverse community members working together to prevent youth substance abuse in Clark County, WA, using an evidence-based framework. Working in collaboration with parents, youth, schools, media, business, government, faith communities, law enforcement, youth-serving organizations, civic groups, health care professionals, and prevention organizations; PREVENT! is focused on improving the environment surrounding youth to create a community culture that promotes prevention and honors healthy living. PREVENT! is supported by the Drug Free Communities Support Program, the ESD 112 and over 440 community members and organizations across Clark County.
Vancouver Youth and Community Leaders Behind the 4/20 Launch of Weed Can Wait Campaign - 04/14/16
Over a thousand Vancouver teens and tweens supplied the voice and direction for Youth Now, a youth-focused marijuana prevention campaign that's launching on 4/20, a day normally synonymous with the code for smoking cannabis. The campaign's main message, Weed Can Wait, aims to encourage youth to delay first use of cannabis until after the legal age of 21 in Washington and Oregon.

On 4/20, the Youth Now campaign will kick off with the first of five pop-up parties at Clark and Skamania County schools to introduce kids to the brand and begin to engage them with the social media elements of the campaign also launching that day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

While the messaging and how it's delivered is directed by local youth, the execution of the campaign is supported by PREVENT! Coalition. The coalition brings together a wide circle of community members for the common goal of creating greater health and well-being for everyone. Even those with seemingly opposite opinions about marijuana, like local law enforcement and recreational retailers New Vansterdam and High End Marketplace, are coming together to support youth prevention.

"We're opening the conversation about cannabis in a non-judgmental way by talking with youth about choices and coping using their own language," said Shane Gardner, Manager of School Safety and Security at Evergreen Public Schools and Chair of PREVENT!.


THE 411 ON YOUTH NOW:

* 1,200 local middle and high school kids took an anonymous survey asking questions about how youth engage with marijuana prevention messages and how they perceive their exposure or risk. The PREVENT! Coalition used those comments to shape the message language and delivery for Youth Now.

* Outreach includes:
- An aggressive social media campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat
- Pop-up parties at five schools in Clark and Skamania Counties to raise awareness
- In partnership with Leadership Clark County, "Lock it up" cards reminding adults to keep their cannabis secure and out of reach at home will be given out with every purchase at New Vansterdam and High End Marketplace marijuana retailers
- Ads on 20 bus tails and inside 40 buses starting May 15th
- Ads on Pandora, a popular free music app
- The Cannabis Conversations Toolkit with common marijuana slang, consumption methods, effects, reasons for use and age-specific talking points to help adults talk with youth

* The Youth Now campaign, run by Clark County's PREVENT! Coalition, is the result of a Department of Health grant funded by Washington State tax dollars from marijuana sales.


WHY DELAYING FIRST USE IS IMPORTANT:

* According to the Healthy Youth Survey, an increasing number of Clark and Skamania County youth are beginning to use marijuana regularly as early as 5th and 6th grades.

* Brains continue to develop through age 25.

* Marijuana affects the parts of the brain that control emotions, memory and judgment.

* The earlier a youth begins to use drugs, the more likely they are to progress to dependence.

* Heavy marijuana use by teens has been linked to lower grades, lower likelihood of graduating from high school or enrolling in college and a higher likelihood of earning a lower income or being unemployed

* If cited with underage use teens can lose federal financial aid and incur other societal consequences


About PREVENT!
Founded in 2006, PREVENT! is a group of diverse community members working together to prevent youth substance abuse in Clark County, WA, using an evidence-based framework. Working in collaboration with parents, youth, schools, media, business, government, faith communities, law enforcement, youth-serving organizations, civic groups, health care professionals, and prevention organizations; PREVENT! is focused on improving the environment surrounding youth to create a community culture that promotes prevention and honors healthy living. PREVENT! is supported by the Drug Free Communities Support Program, the ESD 112 and over 440 community members and organizations across Clark County.