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FULLERTON : Substance Abuse Grant Awarded

Orange County Focus

September 27, 1991|TED JOHNSON

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $400,000 grant to the Fullerton Joint Union High School District that could lead to the coordination of drug, tobacco and alcohol prevention programs in much of North County.

The grant, awarded earlier this month, also extends the district's existing federally funded substance abuse programs for another two years by expanding drug prevention programs beyond the classrooms. Money will come from the department's Drug Free Schools fund, which provides money for educating school counselors, teachers and other employees on substance abuse.

The district's seven schools had already received a $146,000 grant to train staff members on substance abuse awareness and another $154,000 grant to train personnel in dealing with children of alcoholics.

"Our district already has taken the lead," said Marilyn Del Giudice, the district's coordinator of substance abuse prevention. "They're our kids from say 7:30 to 2:40. . . . But it's tough on the kids when they're all together and splinter off (after school)."

School officials say the grant will help drug prevention coordinators extend their expertise beyond schools to places where students congregate after school. They added that they expect to work with city governments, parents, police, courts and churches in coordinating programs.

"This is to help make the community aware of what schools can do," Del Giudice said. "Now we need to move into the community and say, 'Hey, let's get together on this.' It's not just a school problem. . . . Now we need to extend our expertise."

A large share of the grant is expected to pay for a weeklong, full-time session on how to mobilize the community. Community Intervention Inc., a Minneapolis-based substance abuse prevention firm, will train 15 school employees in the spring or fall of 1992.

An example of the training would be how to deal with a liquor store that is selling liquor to minors, Del Giudice said.

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