Grant Supports Prevention Program for Wolcott Youth
Wolcott youth will benefit from new technology that will support a program that is instrumental in reducing substance use. Wolcott Crossroads was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Bristol Savings Bank Fund at Main Street Community Foundation to install a projection system at the Wolcott Activities and Learning Center (WALC).
STAR, Students Taking an Active Role, is a program being offered to 8th grade Tyrrell Middle School students that addresses drug and alcohol prevention based on the social and emotional learning model. Its purpose is to strengthen student decision-making, explore healthy options for living, gain a better understanding of themselves and others, and to figure out how they fit into the world around them in a fun dynamic environment at WALC.
One major obstacle has been a lack of technology to foster these types of programs. “The grant from the Foundation is allowing us to expand program offerings and is very important in implementing STAR,” stated Christina Welch, a member of Wolcott Crossroads Board of Directors. “We anticipate the projection system will be used for the presentation of activities students will participate in as STAR commences in the spring. STAR participants will create a power point that will be shown at the culminating event, a family picnic, and will enable them to share and celebrate the experiences and personal growth obtained through the program.”
STAR offers youth participants learning and team building activities that are fun and teach important life lessons. For example, students will take on the challenge of completing Pine Lakes Ropes Course this spring, which requires courage and teamwork. They will develop and produce chocolate and silk-screening products with the support of local business partners. The students will also learn archery, an activity that requires confidence, concentration, and self-control. A middle school “Kindness Dance” recently provided a safe, energized event to socialize – and drew 113 kids who danced for three straight hours.
“It is anticipated that the new technology will become a well-used vehicle to further inform our youth and the community of the substance use crisis and is one small way we can make a positive difference for the children and families served by Wolcott Crossroads,” stated Christina Welch.
Wolcott Crossroads is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in June 2010. The mission is to unite the local community and create new ways and ideas to combat drug use affecting our youth and to provide support for families. It is composed of a volunteer group of concerned citizens who work collaboratively with dedicated helpers and community partners to deliver education and resources to the Town of Wolcott and surrounding areas.