Drug training set to educate Elkins officers

ELKINS – The City of Elkins is sending two police officers to attend a drug curriculum training in Clarksburg Thursday in order to bring the message back to local youth.

Elkins Mayor Van Broughton said that he intends to send Ginger Defibaugh and Patrolman M. J. Sigley to the “Too Good for Drugs” curriculum training. The two will then deliver the curriculum to Elkins Middle School later in the semester.

“I’m excited to get this going,” said Broughton. “We are determined to take on the drug problem in the city and educating our young people to make smart decisions is one of the most crucial steps.”

Rebecca Vance, director of the Randolph County Family Resource Network, said the “Too Good for Drugs” curriculum training, offered Thursday at the Caperton Center in Clarksburg, is free and open to the public. The training will certify participants to teach the “Too Good for Drugs” curriculum throughout the Mountain State.

Vance said it is a valuable asset having police officials trained in the curriculum, as other agencies throughout the area also have trained individuals, including Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker, Judy McCauley from the Appalachian Community Health Center and Jill Zurbaugh from Randolph County schools.

“It’s amazing the misconceptions that middle-to-high school students have regarding drugs,” said Vance. “This seminar is a valuable asset to help educate the community, and ultimately those children, how to live a smart, drug-free lifestyle.”

However, local efforts to promote that lifestyle are facing new financial constraints.

Vance said that due to new state budgeting concerns several local agencies are facing loss of funding, including the Family Resource Network as well as services dealing with child abuse and providing domestic violence prevention and treatment.

As a result, said Vance, these agencies are looking at fundraising opportunities to maintain their functionality despite the cuts.

“We want to keep doing the volume of work that we have been,” said Vance. “And in order to do that we are having to branch out and be creative.”

One such fundraising opportunity is the Family Resource Network’s “Bounce Out Substance Abuse” Basketball Tournament, which will be held at Harman High School on April 12-13. Registration forms are due March 28 and team registration costs $100. A total of 16 teams will be accepted in the tournament and are guaranteed at least two games each.

All proceeds for the tournament will be used to support further substance abuse prevention in the Randolph County school system and in the Randolph County community.

For more information, contact the Randolph County Family Resource Network at 304-636-4454.

Vance said the America’s Promise coalition has partnered with Youth Health Services in Elkins to participate in Drug Fact Week Jan. 27 through Feb. 2. The theme is “Better Choices – Better Life” and will feature a class poster contest. A winner will be picked from each school that participated and will receive a pizza party.

There will also be presentations to elementary students on how to make better choices as well as information given out to the middle and high school students.

Contact Chad Clem by email at cclem@theintermountain.com.