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MEDIA ALERT: Celebrate the Great American Smokeout with Curly the Camel (Photo) - 11/16/18

PHOTO OP: Take a photo with Curly, the very friendly tobacco-free camel

In celebration of the Great American Smokeout, Tobacco-Free Youth is hosting a day of games and an opportunity to take a photo with Curly the Camel, because we all know real camels don’t smoke. Learn about the resources in your community, connect with others and celebrate a day of tobacco-free living.


November 17, 2018
2:00 – 6:00 pm
Clark County Event Center, Hall C


The Great American Smokeout was started over 40 years ago by the American Cancer Society to challenge people to stop smoking and teach them about the many tools they can use to quit smoking and stay tobacco- free.  More than 34 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Quitting smoking improves health immediately and over the long term – at any age. Stopping smoking is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Getting help through counseling and medications doubles or even triples your chances of quitting successfully. 90 of adults begin smoking as teenagers.


Madison Langer, a National Ambassador for Tobacco-Free Youth, is hosting this Great American Smokeout event to encourage a smoke-free generation and to share resources available in the community to keep our youth from abusing substances. National Youth Ambassadors are high school students who have demonstrated leadership in fighting tobacco in their communities. These advocates are chosen annually as representatives of their state through a competitive application process. They receive training at a week-long Youth Advocacy Symposium in Washington, D.C., and participate in activities throughout the year.

Attached Media Files: Curlys_face.jpg , Curly the Camel
Five schools in ESD 112 region honored as 2018 Schools of Distinction - 11/14/18

Five schools in Vancouver, Battle Ground and Longview are among just 91 identified as 2018 School of Distinction winners. The award recognizes sustained improvement over a five year period in English language arts (ELA), math and graduation rates.

In Battle Ground, River Homelink was named a School of Distinction for the third time. In Vancouver Public Schools, Benjamin Franklin Elementary (a three-time winner) and Lewis and Clark High School received the honor. R.A. Long High School (a four-time winner) and Monticello Middle School, both in the Longview School District, round out the list of this year’s winners in the ESD 112 region. They are among the top five percent of improvement of all high middle and elementary levels, respectively.

“This honor is reflective of the incredibly hard work and dedication of staff and students,” said ESD 112 Superintendent Tim Merlino. “These schools are proof that through dedication and perseverance we can overcome barriers to dramatically improve outcomes for all students,” he added. Merlino plans to present the schools with their award banners during specially scheduled arrangements at staff and/or board meetings this winter.

The School of Distinction Award is sponsored by the Center for Educational Effectiveness in partnership with the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD), the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP), Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) and the Washington State Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (WSASCD).  This award is the only one of its kind in the state that recognizes schools for sustained growth and improvement over time.


New STEM Program Offers High School Grads Work and a Degree - 11/02/18

***Vancouver-based ‘Career Launch’ pilot featured as model for Governor’s career-connected learning initiative.***

VANCOUVER, Washington, November 2, 2018 - A new pilot program of the Southwest Washington STEM Network is connecting local students with hands-on, career learning opportunities and the chance to earn an associate’s degree at Clark College.  

The pilot program, called Manufacturing Career Launch, involves a two-year long, part-time paid work-based learning experience at SEH America, a silicon wafer manufacturer based in Vancouver. Through the program, participants also have the opportunity to simultaneously earn their associates degree from Clark College.

The program is especially important in the current economy because the STEM Network estimates that up to 81 percent of new, high-growth, well-paying jobs in this region require a post-secondary certification, credential or degree—and only a third of area students who start high school each fall are expected to obtain one.

“It’s cost effective, it uses existing systems, and it’s sustainable,” said Ted Feller, executive director of the SW WA STEM Network.

The first-ever Career Launch cadre is assigned to various departments at SEH America part time. Some are now learning how to use equipment like wire saws, while others are learning about processing silicon. When their Career Launch program ends, they will move into full-time positions at SEH America and some will have earned their associate’s degree.

"It has given me a reliable plan for the beginning of my adult life where I had no idea what I was going to do before,” said Career Launch participant, Devon Laverne.

According to U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration, employment in STEM occupations is growing rapidly and much faster than employment in non-STEM occupations over the last decade (24.4 percent versus 4.0 percent, respectively), making the pilot program even more critical to the local job market and beyond.

“For the Career Launch participants, it’s not just a job—it’s a career pathway.” said Natalie Pacholl, SEH America training and development specialist.

The SEH America Career Launch program is the newest offering of the SW Washington STEM Network, which has been growing since 2011, recently expanding when some smaller, more rural districts joined.

The STEM Network is attracting attention statewide. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee visited Educational Service District 112 in Vancouver this past spring to learn more about the program. He called the STEM Network model one he can highlight as the state puts his Career Connect Washington initiative into action.

“Career-connected learning can work in every corner of the state in multiple industries,” Inslee said. “We are working to prepare the next generation of Washington’s workforce for high-demand, good-paying careers, and we want to give every kid a path for future success, whatever their vision might be.”

The Career Launch program also offers an important opportunity for SEH America, which anticipates upcoming retirements of some longtime employees with highly specialized skills.

To learn more about the program, visit

Letting passers by know about the Drug Take Back event
Letting passers by know about the Drug Take Back event
Drug Take Back Event Collects 3,678 Pounds of Pills (Photo) - 10/29/18

On Saturday, 1,373 Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat County residents dropped off a total of 3,678 pounds of unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications with local law enforcement officers, pharmacists, coalition staff and community volunteers.  The medication disposal event was held at seven locations throughout the counties where a steady stream of cars lined-up to hand over medications and sharps.  The busiest drop site was Cascade Park Kaiser Permanente, which served 650 participants that brought in 1,813 pounds of pills and 624 pounds of sharps.  All pills were weighed and secured in boxes that will be transported for incineration by the DEA. 

These numbers show an increase over the Drug Take Back event last October, which collected 3,549 pounds of medications and 441 pounds of sharps. There was also an increase in participants, up 150 from last year’s event. Over 825 of those dropping off meds were first time contributors.

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the country.? An estimated 54 million people over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in their lifetime. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), more people report using controlled prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine combined. 

The drug take back events take place twice annually in April and October and are organized thanks to many community partnerships including Washington State Health Care Authority (WA-HCA), Clark County Public Health, Clark County Green Neighbors, Kaiser Permanente, PeaceHealth Southwest, Battle Ground Police Department, Vancouver Police Department, Washougal Police Department, La Center Police Department, Ridgefield Police Department, Washougal Silver Star Search and Rescue, Skyline Hospital, Klickitat County Courthouse, Bingen-White Salmon Police Department, Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, Goldendale Police Department, CPAKC, Walgreens, Connect Evergreen, La Center United, Prevent Coalition, Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance, Unite! Washougal Community Coalition, Connect Evergreen, West Van for Youth, One Prevention Alliance, KLASAC, Our Klickitat Coalition, Clark College ACES Club, and U.S. Dept. of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Prevent Coalition would like to thank PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care, Battle Ground Police Department, Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park, Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, Washougal Silver Star Search and Rescue, Skyline Hospital and Klickitat County Courthouse for hosting the seven event sites.

Unwanted medications can also be disposed of year-round at several collection sites across Clark,  Skamania and Klickitat Counties. Controlled substances, such as painkillers and tranquilizers, can be taken to participating law enforcement agencies and participating pharmacies. Non-controlled substances, such as over-the-counter medications and sharps, can be taken to local participating transfer and recovery centers. Visit for more details on where to drop off your medications.

MEDIA ALERT: Drug Take-Back Event Collects Unwanted Medications on October 27 - 10/23/18


Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat County residents can safely dispose of all unused prescription and over the counter medications at seven free collection events. All unwanted medications (controlled and non-controlled) will be accepted at each event location. Sharps and syringes will ONLY be accepted at the Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park and PeaceHealth SW Urgent Care event locations.



All events will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 27th, at:

  • PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care, 33rd & Main (S. Back Lot), Vancouver
  • Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park, 12607 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver
  • Battle Ground Police Department, 507 SW 1st St., Battle Ground
  • Washougal Silver Star Search & Rescue, 1220 A St., Washougal
  • Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, 200 NW Vancouver Ave., Stevenson
  • Skyline Hospital, 211 NE Skyline Dr., White Salmon 
  • Klickitat County Courthouse, 205 S. Columbus Ave., Goldendale 



Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the country.? An estimated 54 million people over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in their lifetime. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), more people report using controlled prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine combined. Unused medication left in the home increase opportunities for drug abuse and accidental poisoning.  Most people, including teens, who misuse prescription medicationsoften get the drugs from a friend or relativewithout their knowledge, rather than from a drug dealer. Safe medicine take-back programs, like those scheduled on October 27th, get potentially dangerous leftover drugs out of our homes and medicine cabinets and keeps them out of our waterways and landfills.



The October 27th collection event is funded in part by Washington State Health Care Authority (WA-HCA), and organized thanks to many community partnerships including Clark County Public Health, Clark County Green Neighbors, Kaiser Permanente, PeaceHealth Southwest, Battle Ground Police Department, Vancouver Police Department, Washougal Police Department, La Center Police Department, Ridgefield Police Department, Washougal Silver Star Search and Rescue, Skyline Hospital, Klickitat County Courthouse, Bingen-White Salmon Police Department, Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, Goldendale Police Department, CPAKC, Walgreens, Connect Evergreen, La Center United, Prevent Coalition, Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance, Unite! Washougal Community Coalition, West Van for Youth, One Prevention Alliance, KLASAC, Our Klickitat Coalition, and U.S. Dept. of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration.