This article underwritten by: Renetta DuBose
Grant Helps Porter Co. Schools Fight Substance Abuse
Schools in Porter County will receive double the help with eradicating drug and alcohol use among students. The Porter County Substance Abuse Council announced that new grant dollars are available to all Porter County school corporations this fall. Porter County Substance Abuse Council Director Beatrice Owen said a total of 15 thousand dollars will serve as matching dollars for a random drug testing program in high schools. She said the Council, comprised of more than 35 coalition members, will fund the matching dollars to schools that complete the Grant Application and submit it along with a formal letter of request to the Council Office by Sept. 15, 2013.
“If they have two thousand dollars we can match up to two thousand dollars, but we’re not going to go over. Really what that does is it allows the schools to double the number of tests that they were planning on doing,” Owen said.
Additional requirements for the grant include school corporations providing documentation to substantiate the dollars used and documenting the results of the random tests.
East Porter County Schools Superintendent Rod Gardin said his district has already implemented random drug testing for students in grades 7-12. Though random, the tests target any student who participates in extracurricular activities and students who drive. He said the grant helps his district expand the testing.
“Kids who are using drugs and alcohol, they need some assistance as well as their families so that they can change their life patterns so they can have a better life.”
Gardin adds his district will offer counseling for students who test positive.
The Substance Abuse Council is able to provide the grant because of dollars collected from DUI and drug interdiction. In addition to the matching grant, Owen said the council also offers a general grant to help schools fight substance abuse.