Operation UNITE Service Corps (KY AmeriCorps) members met December 13, 2019, for a “Too Good for Drugs” (TGFD) Curriculum Training at the Floyd County Extension Office. USC Co-Program Director Kelli Thompson welcomed all members and introduced the staff and the guest speaker.
Fifty-four USC members serving elementary schools in 17 counties (19 school districts) throughout the 5th Congressional District were trained to implement the TGFD curriculum to all fourth- and fifth-grade students in their school. The curriculum is a 10-week, evidenced-based, interactive classroom set of courses designed to help students learn and develop cognitive skills for good decision-making, how to recognize and manage emotions, and learn social strategies to refuse peer pressure.
Ashley Clark, Kaylee Limings, and Alyson Myers from Pathways Regional Prevention Center in Ashland conducted the full day of training, which was educational, engaging, informative and fun.
The day ended with a message from guest speaker Nancy Hale, UNITE President & CEO, who emphasized the importance of their role in drug prevention. She also accentuated how important it is to help children stay on target with their goals by providing them with effective math tutoring.
Mrs. Hale shared statistics that clearly indicate the positive impact Operation UNITE and the AmeriCorps program has made across the 32 southern and eastern Kentucky counties served by UNITE. “We must continue to do our part to create hope and change the culture,” Hale stated.
Staff members in attendance included Debbie Trusty, Educational and Treatment Director; Crystal Smallwood, USC Program Manager; Alyson Saylers, Region 3 UNITE Coalition Coordinator; and Kelli Thompson and Marionette Little, Co-Program Directors for USC.
Hale also took the time to recognize Ethan Lewis from Black Mountain, who is serving as president of his UNITE Club, and asked USC member (and former Camp UNITE attendee) Jesse Dillow to present him with a “Shoot Hoops Not Drugs” basketball.
The meeting concluded with the statement from Mrs Hale: “Everything you do matters!”