On September 18, 1996, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) will announce a partnership aimed at benefiting the nations youth, especially in the area of drug abuse prevention. The partnership will be announced at 8:30 a.m. in the Rayburn Building, Room B-339, at the Boys & Girls Clubs Annual Congressional Breakfast honoring the BGCAs Youth of the Year.
The initial phase of this partnership includes the joint sponsorship and distribution of an adolescent antidrug publication, Get It Straight, which will be introduced at the breakfast. Copies of this publication will be provided to every Boys & Girls Club in the country. In addition, DEA will make the publication available through its network of Demand Reduction Coordinators in the United States.
Get It Straight was developed to address a lack of published drug prevention material suitable for use by young teenagers. The publication was prompted by a request from a Department of Justice employee whose son needed drug prevention information for a school project. DEA held focus groups with adolescents to check their attitudes on drug abuse for the booklet.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America comprises a national network of some 1,800 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving more than 2.4 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances. Known as "The Positive Place for Kids," the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6-18 years old, conducted by a full-time, trained professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club Programs emphasize educational achievement, career exploration, drug and alcohol avoidance, health and fitness, gang and violence prevention, cultural enrichment, leadership development and community service.
As part of this initiative, DEA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America will develop model partnership programs in six field divisions, specifically Seattle, Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Houston, and Washington, D.C.
DEA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America have a lengthy history of cooperation and joint efforts. DEAs San Diego Division has sponsored a karate demonstration and drug education activity at the National City Boys & Girls Club. DEAs Detroit Division has conducted several drug education and prevention programs for the Troy, Michigan Boys & Girls Club. They have shared a video library with the club and taken some of the youngsters to sporting events. DEAs Houston and Los Angeles Divisions have sponsored golf tournaments which benefited the local clubs. In Houston, golf instructions given by LPGA pros where combined with drug prevention education classes given by DEA.
DEAs Administrator Thomas A. Constantine stated, "I believe that we are responsible for providing our children with the facts about the dangers of drugs. We all must remain alert on this issue and play an active role in order to make a difference and ensure that our children lead healthy, drug free lives. DEA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America look forward to a long and fruitful partnership, with the beneficiaries being the youth of America."
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