Community Education Programs through Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
- Parents360: Engages parents through its signature presentation Parents: You Matter, which provides valuable insights as to why kids use, how parents can start an important dialogue about the dangers of substance use and what steps to take if a child may be using. It underscores the need for parents to first educate themselves in order to be a go-to source for trusted information when their children have questions about drugs or alcohol.
- Meth360: Challenges concerned citizens to educate themselves about the dangers of methamphetamine in order to help stop the spread of this damaging and dangerous drug in their communities. Audiences learn about all aspects of meth from experts with diverse perspectives on the issue – a true “360-degree” view.
- Padres360: Engages Spanish-speaking parents and caregivers in order to better understand, prevent, and if necessary, address a child’s problems with drugs or alcohol. Designed specifically to educate parents of Hispanic teenagers.
- Latino360: This program mirrors Meth360, but is designed to reflect the unique needs of Hispanics in the United States, providing Latino communities with the resources and information to protect their children from the dangers of methamphetamine.
What are Youth Ranches?
This example has been taken from the website for Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches but the premise is similar in each state. The ranches operate on the belief that “it is better to build a child than repair an adult.” With this concept in mind, the ranches provide a healthy home environment where children can learn responsibility and build self-confidence in a nurturing, loving environment. In the words of the mission statement for the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, the goal is “to address, remedy, and prevent child abuse and neglect by creating safe, healthy, and permanent homes for children.”
The following states currently have information available on youth ranches operating in partnership with the state sheriffs’ offices: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Maryland.
Badges for Baseball
What is Badges for Baseball?
Badges for Baseball is the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation’s signature program. It was created in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice as a juvenile crime prevention initiative. It's based on a simple concept: pair police officers and sheriffs with kids to play and learn. It works to enhance the relationship between law enforcement and kids in underserved communities across the country using baseball as the hook. The work is not easy, but the results are remarkable. Law enforcement officers become the coaches, teaching important lessons about teamwork, communication, respect, and leadership that can be used both on and off the field.
What is the target population?
While beneficial for youth from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, the Badges for Baseball program primarily targets areas with high rates of juvenile crime and related issues. Unfortunately, high crime rates often correlate with strained relationships between law enforcement officers and young people. Badges for Baseball provides an opportunity to reach kids at an impressionable age and gives them opportunities to see law enforcement officers as mentors, friends, and coaches rather than an enemy.
How does it work?
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation partners with America's most successful youth serving organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs, Recreation Departments, afterschool programs, and Police Activity Leagues to bring programs to deserving young people across the country. Each program site receives program materials including Healthy Choices, Healthy Children, baseball, softball, and Quickball equipment, training, and ongoing support from Foundation staff and local law enforcement agencies. Most of our partners receive funding from the Foundation to support their staff needs and other costs associated with running Badges for Baseball.
What are the benefits?
Kids learn the value of a healthy lifestyle, the importance of setting goals, and how to achieve these goals such as by staying in school, not joining gangs, and staying away from drugs. In addition, children and their families begin to see their local law enforcement as an agent for positive change and safety. Most importantly, law enforcement officers and young people begin to have fun together and develop a mutual respect for each other and their community.
Badges for Baseball is currently operating statewide initiatives in Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
NSA Youth Publications
Often youth can be just as involved with neighborhood watch in their school and after school communities. As a result of a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America we created the below publication. The purpose of the publication is to reinforce crime prevention concepts and provide ideas for youth programs.