The youth surveys are done, and while the results will not be tabulated for a few weeks (stay tuned!), we are delighted to report that approximately 43 percent of the students (over 760 students) in grades six, eight,10 and 12 completed the Prevention Needs Assessment. More than have ever participated in a survey of this kind before, this will allow the central Kenai Peninsula to have information that is specific to our area regarding how youth are handling such factors as availability of drugs, peer pressures to engage in alcohol, tobacco and drug use.
Data will be used to better evaluate what the community needs to support that we are doing right, and what areas are problems for our kids that we need to work more on fixing. These are not easy questions, and this is only the beginning of an effort that will result in a meaningful community profile better enabling us to plan and evaluate what resources are most effective in building a community of respect.
It takes a coordinated effort to conduct such a successful survey process and the Coalition would like to thank the students, parents, faculty and staff, school board members and district staff of the schools participating in the Prevention Needs Assessment Survey:Skyview, Kenai Central, Soldotna and Nikiski high schools; Kenai Middle and Soldotna Middle schools; Tustumena, Redoubt, Kalifornsky Beach, Nikiski North Star, Sterling and Soldotna elementary schools; Aurora Borealis Charter; Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility School; Kenai Alternative School; and Connections for home-schoolers.
On behalf of the Community Action Coalition, I would also like to extend a special thank you to Donna Peterson and Sam Stewart of the Kenai Peninsula School District, Stan Pitlo, Vincent Nusunginya, Natalie Casebeer and staff of the Peninsula Clarion, Cherie Curry and the KSRM radio group, PNA coordinator Paul Brenner and the Risk Assessment Committee, and Michael Becherer, CAC president, who has provided the vision and leadership to make this effort possible.
You can keep track of our progress and stay informed by visiting our Web site at www.kpcac.org. Thanks everyone.
Marilynn Jackson, PhD
Community Action Coalition
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