Insight given to students |

Insight given to students

Jill Darby

Kingsbury Middle School students will have access in October to a new substance abuse prevention program.

Insight-Douglas is funded by a federal grant through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and is offered in conjunction with the Partnership of Community Resources and the Family Support Council of Douglas County.

The program, which focuses on middle school-aged children, is aimed at working with students who have alcohol, drug, truancy or anger management issues.

“This group is not necessarily for users,” said Cheryl Bricker, executive director at the Partnership of Community Resources. “This group is really for kids who are exposed (to drugs and alcohol). What we want to do is give them an opportunity to develop some skills that will help them say no. A lot of times, they have communication problems. They don’t really understand how chemical abuse affects their lives. This group is for kids who just want to learn more about how to protect themselves.”

Bricker said the grant’s main goal is to reduce substance abuse by 5 percent a year among youth.

“We’re initiating several different programs,” she said. “We found that in Douglas County, the age of first use is eighth grade. Certainly there are children who use prior to that and older than that. What we’re trying to do is target the middle schools with some support opportunities.”

Kingsbury Middle School Counselor Carly Kester is facilitating the program at the lake and said she plans to focus on prevention since middle school is a time when children tend to become a little more rebellious.

“I’m new to this program but I think it’s exciting for Kingsbury to have it,” she said. “It’s something that’s been going on in Gardnerville and Carson but not up here and our children have the same problems as kids all over the country.”

The six-week after school program meets for 45 minutes twice a week. It is offered free of charge at Kingsbury Middle School, Carson Valley Middle School and Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School.

Only a few people have signed up for the program at Kingsbury Middle School, but Kester said she hopes to see greater response.

“It’s a pretty structured, intense counseling program that will really be helpful to children and it’s free to parents,” Kester said. “It will be two days a week, after school and they’ll just be able to take the late bus home. It works out perfectly. It’s not an inconvenience to anyone. They don’t miss school and they have transportation so it’s really kind of nice.”

Parents interested in enrolling their children in the program, may call Kester at (775) 588-6281. For information about Insight-Douglas, call (775) 782-8611.

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