Carter County Drug Prevention awarded Youth Service America afterschool grant

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CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – One local drug prevention group has been awarded a national grant to expand after school programs.

Jilian Reece with Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition told News Channel 11 the program is one of 60 across 32 states to get a Charles Stewart Mott Foundation grant.

Reece said the grant will be used to grow its partnership with the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department. The grant will enhance programs already in place, including e-sports, skateboarding clubs, and other projects.

Nationwide, nearly 9,000 students – 95% from underserved communities – will have the opportunity and support to find their voice, take action and make an impact in their schools and communities, a news report from the Carter County Drug Prevention said.

According to the release, involved students requiring more support than can be provided in afternoon clubs will also have opportunities to be matched with mentors through additional funding received by the National Recreation and Parks Association.

“We are thrilled to support afterschool programs that, in addition to serving youth, have committed to asking youth to serve their communities,” said Steven A. Culbertson, president, and CEO of YSA, in the release. “Studies show youth in underserved communities have fewer opportunities than their peers in more affluent communities to take part in service projects. Students participating in such projects benefit by learning and practicing the problem-solving skills they need to be successful in school, work, and life. A student cannot do an effective service project without practicing the skills of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. Along with gaining job skills, this kind of civic engagement in childhood also leads to lifelong volunteering, voting, and philanthropy.”

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