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Boston Public Schools partnering with Gavin Foundation and UMass Boston

March 3, 2015

Boston Public Schools

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Too Good for Drugs is a new school-based drug prevention program designed to reduce the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Boston Public Schools in announcing a partnership with the Gavin Foundation and UMass Boston to pilot Too Good for Drugs, a new school-based drug prevention program designed to reduce the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. This pilot program will be installed in seventh grade courses to promote positive social skills and character. Yesterday, the program was introduced at the McCormack Middle School in Dorchester for the first time. 

“This program’s aim is to address prevention of drug and alcohol use through our schools,” said Mayor Walsh. “The curriculum will include good decision-making, resisting peer pressure, and cultivating healthy communication and relationships with others. It emphasizes the pertinent information Boston youth will need to understand the negative consequences of alcohol and drug use.”

"We are pleased and honored to be partnering with the University of Massachusetts Boston and The Gavin Foundation to bring this unique program to the McCormack Middle School," said Interim Superintendent John McDonough. "Our commitment to substance abuse education and prevention is unwavering; a middle school program of this caliber, funded and cultivated by our community partners, is the next, right step in our investment in our youth."

“The University of Massachusetts Boston is proud to partner with Mayor Walsh, the city of Boston, and the Gavin House on this important issue,” said Chancellor J. Keith Motley. “Sadly, now more than ever school-based drug-prevention programs are a necessity. Statistics show that 9 out of 10 people with addiction started using substances before they turned 18. We hope that by focusing on adolescents before they are exposed to drugs and alcohol, we can diminish the risk of addiction, and increase the likelihood of success in school and in college.” 

“The Gavin Foundation is honored to be collaborating with UMass Boston and BPS on such an important initiative as Too Good For Drugs,” President and CEO John P. McGahan said. “This is just another example of Mayor Walsh's commitment to addressing substance abuse use through prevention as well as treatment and recovery support.”

The curriculum is based upon 10 one-hour sessions with professionals who have been trained by the Mendez Foundation. It meets the requirements for mandated school health courses and the standards of the Boston Public Schools’ Focus on Children. The curriculum consists of 14 core lessons and an additional 12 lessons that can be infused into other subject areas (such as English, Science, and Social Studies). Students engage in role-play and cooperative learning activities and are encouraged to apply the skills to different contexts.