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September 22. 2013 7:36PM

Dover drug prevention program earns state agency’s endorsement

DOVER — The Youth to Youth program is being recognized by the New Hampshire Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services.

Prevention Coordinator Dana Mitchell said the program includes 65 local students in grades six through 12.

“It’s pretty satisfying about having an independent group determine there’s substance behind this (program),” Mitchell said.

He said state officials are endorsing Youth to Youth as an innovative drug prevention program that could be used as a guide for other youth-based efforts in the state.

“It’s actually more of an endorsement that we’re doing the right thing,” Mitchell said.

Members of Youth to Youth plan to make a formal announcement of the honor at their main training room in the McConnell Community Center, 30 St. Thomas St., today at 5 p.m.

During the past three years, state and federal agencies have been studying the effectiveness of the Dover Youth to Youth program, according to a news release.

“It’s not really winning an award — it’s a product of being evaluated by an expert panel,” Mitchell said.

In an effort to expand its community policing program, Dover Police began Youth to Youth in 1993 with a dozen sixth-grade students from Dover Middle School.

In the next two years, the peer-oriented drug prevention program expanded to about 20 members and began spreading its message by presenting short skits and programs at local events.

Currently, members of Youth to Youth create a variety of messages — via posters, radio and the Internet — to point to the dangers of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, according to www.doveryouth.com.

jquinn@newstote.com


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