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Northampton Prevention Coalition gets new grant to expand efforts to curb teen drinking

A new four-year federal grant will pay to expand programs in Northampton schools that aim to curb teen drinking such as the “Safe Homes Directory” of Northampton High School parents who prohibit drinking or drug use on their property.

The funds will also support a “social norms” campaign that uses posters and other media to reinforce positive behavior among teens, according to Northampton Prevention Coalition co-chair Karen Jarvis-Vance. Plans are in the works for a youth forum on teen drinking later this fall.

The Northampton Prevention Coalition works in collaboration with the city’s schools. The coalition was recently awarded a four-year $193,032 grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for programs to curb teen drinking.

Jarvis-Vance, director of health services for Northampton city schools, said the new grant is on top of a five-year $125,000 federal Drug Free Communities grant the coalition won in 2010.

Information about the city’s Prevention Coalition is available at spiffycoalition.org.

– Barbara Solow

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