Dublin Villager

Coalition updates school board members

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Since its 2008 inception, the Dublin Adolescents and Community Together, or A.C.T., Coalition has gotten a lot accomplished.

The Dublin Board of Education last week was updated on the work of the Dublin A.C.T. Coalition, a group that works to eliminate underage drinking, marijuana use and prescription drug abuse among youth in Dublin.

Dublin City School counselor GeorgiAnn Diniaco said the group was started with a grant and has gotten the entire community involved in the quest to end underage drinking and drug abuse among teens.

Through a survey of Dublin students, the group identified three areas of focus: underage drinking, prescription drug abuse and marijuana.

"We will conduct the survey again next fall," she said.

Coalition member Dave Rule said the group has been successful because they have gotten several organizations involved including the school district, city, recreation center, local churches, Dublin Counseling Center, Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic, Leadership Dublin, Dublin Kiwanis and PERC.

Coalition coordinator Jaime Burke said the school district's involvement in Dublin A.C.T. has also been a great help.

"A lot of people are struggling to find a relationship with schools," she said of similar groups across the country.

Since last September, Rule said, the group has posted positive signs around the schools encouraging students to say "no," held a community forum on prescription drug abuse, helped support after-prom events and aided with training drink servers at the Dublin Irish Festival.

The group also filmed a public service announcement on prescription drug abuse that has been shown around Columbus and was translated to Spanish for the radio, Rule said.

Dublin A.C.T. also held a public service announcement contest for students in video broadcast classes in Dublin high schools, Burke said.

"Through broadcast classes we got the project worked into the curriculum," she said.

Students could choose to make a public service announcement focusing on the city's social host law, the impact of alcohol on the brain or the impact of alcohol on student athletes. Students were also given information on each subject, Burke said.

Out of 30 submissions, one winner was chosen from each Dublin high school, Burke said, and each program was given an award of $500.

The winning student public service announcements can be found online at dublinact.org.

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