By Jill Peney
The summer just got more fun for several local children and teens as the A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition of Johnson County is hosting five summer day camps geared towards elementary and middle school students focusing on drug and alcohol prevention.
“This year we will be having a day camp in the communities of Butler, Trade, Laurel Bloomery, Shady Valley, and Mountain City,” said Denise Woods, Prevention Coordinator, A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition, Inc. “We will be having lots of fun with the Olympic Theme, drug education, teambuilding activities, and crafts.”
The rotation is expected to culminate on Saturday, June 30, with an Olympic Game Day celebration for all summer camp participants.
Children, teens, and adolescents in Johnson County face many risks almost unknown to past generations including widespread drug availability. Responding to these risks before they become problematic and pervasive can be difficult, but it is the mission of one local non-profit organization to eliminate substance abuse.To that end, the organization has identified effective interventions with younger populations to help prevent risk behaviors before drug abuse occurs. Exciting events are aimed at keeping children safe and teaching them how to make wise decisions.
“We know that early intervention can set the stage for more positive self-regulation as children prepare for their high school years,” said Woods. “People who use drugs typically begin doing so during adolescence or young adulthood.”
Established in 2005, the A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition (Alliance of Citizens Together Improving Our Neighborhoods) was initially a product of an HRSA (Human Resource and Service Administration) grant, aimed at increasing mental health services in the county and America’s Promise movement. Funding also comes from various state and federal grants. Since its inception, the A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition has expanded, and with the assistance of state and federal grant funding, supports and sponsors several youth development programs such as SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) and MTC (Mobile Team Challenge). They also host RBS (Responsible Beverage Server) training and numerous sobriety checkpoints in partnership with law enforcement in addition to mentoring & facilitating new coalitions Throughout Northeast TN.
For more information or to register for an upcoming camp visit the A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition office at 138 East Main Street, Mountain City, TN, or call 423-727-0780.