Nine anti-drug school UNITE Clubs have been selected as UNITE Clubs of the Year for their exceptional programs during the 2011-12 school year.

UNITE Club of the Year winners are:

  • Region 1 – Mt. Vernon Elementary (Rockcastle County), Rockcastle County Middle, Rockcastle County High.
  • Region 2 – Hayes-Lewis Elementary (Leslie County), tie: Pineville Middle (Bell County) and Whitesburg Middle (Letcher County).
  • Region 3 – Rogers Elementary (Wolfe County), Johns Creek Middle (Pike County), Belfry High (Pike County).

To qualify, each club submitted a scrapbook showcasing their monthly activities, service projects and mentoring activities. Scrapbooks were judged in elementary, middle and high school categories to determine the regional winners.

Winning clubs will be awarded an additional $750 funding for anti-drug activities during the 2012-13 school year and members will be treated to a pizza party by Operation UNITE.

“Participation in UNITE Clubs increases the students’ protective factors, such as positive role models, high self-esteem, healthy lifestyles, high student achievement, and positive relationships,” said Debbie Trusty, UNITE education director.

“Students participate in service projects at school and in the community that are aimed at increasing their awareness of civic responsibility and development of leadership qualities,” Trusty said. “UNITE Clubs give students the opportunity to practice resistance skills at their school and in their community.”

There were 95 registered UNITE Clubs in 23 counties during the 2011-12 school year. These clubs had 6,841 student members.

UNITE Clubs help youth develop healthy attitudes and behaviors by learning and practicing life skills, enhancing academic performance, connecting peers, adults, communities and learning through service.

Youth are involved in developing and conducting activities designed to help make their schools and communities healthy and drug-free as well as mentoring younger students.