MAILED: July 14, 2000
Douglas Stevens, director of the College of Arts and Sciences Continuing Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has been selected by the Department of Transportation to manage the second round of a grant combating underage drinking.
The one-year $300,000 grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice Prevention officially began June 1 and will run through May 31, 2001. It will serve as a continuation of the first round, which officially ended this past May.
The main goal of the first round, Stevens said, was to promote youth development.
"By building positive youth, we decrease the chances that they will get involved with high-risk behaviors," he said.
The first round of the grant funded the creation of youth development activities in 18 communities around the state. Funds also were used to hire an adult coordinator and a youth assistant in each community to serve as part of a coalition to coordinate development efforts.
At UW-Eau Claire, money was used to build a four-day program that taught youth the art of animation. The program provided participants the chance to learn about the process of animation, to learn drug and alcohol abuse prevention strategies and to create their own public service announcements to be aired in their local communities.
Money from the first round of the grant also was used to create a bike patrol for campus security and to provide the Eau Claire City Police with 10 bikes.
The mobility and presence of bike patrols in college towns has proven to be very successful in combating underage drinking, Stevens said.
According to Stevens, the bulk of the new grant money will go toward the continuation of successful programs started during the first round.
"We will continue to fund the communities that were making a difference," he said.
Along with the continued support of the original communities, the program also will be extended to five new communities, bringing the total to 23.
According to Stevens, Wisconsin was selected to receive the second-round grant monies because of the success of its first round. "Wisconsin serves as a model for other states," he said. "We are doing something different. Our programs ultimately lead to self-sufficiency, as communities are required to create plans of sustainability."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 20, 2000