September’s Meeting

Well as suspected the weather played a major role in our meeting today.  However small the crowd, we were enthusiastic and some very good information was exchanged.  To be precise, H. Rameriz and M. Nida shared information concerning a funding source from the Oklahoma State Department of Health for re-instating a Teen pregnancy Prevention Program and discussed the need for a fiscal agent at the time of submission of the proposal.  At one of our meetings last year, the Coalition agreed to support this effort and to the extend that we can serve as fiscal agent.  It is hoped that the Coalition will be notified in January 2010 of the Invitation to Bid and hopefully have a completed proposal by the submission deadline.  Of course this funding is tied to the current fiscal shortfalls within the state and is anything but certain.

In other good news it was announced that the Coalition was awarded a mini-grant to implement the Crystal Darkness Phase II Action Plan that was submitted to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in May.  In a nutshell the plan calls for the Coalition to partner with area school districts in providing Too Good for Drugs curriculum to area students.  To date, agreements have been reached that will ensure that approximately 800 K-8 students in LeFlore County receive this Evidence Based Prevention program.  We are still in discussion with to other districts, which if all goes according to the plan, will add another 150 or so students to that count.  What great news.  The ODMHSAS has tasked the Coalition with completing all arrangements for Crystal Darkness Phase II by close of business September 18.  So as you can imagine things are quite hectic at the moment.

Finally, those present were updated on the latest news from the Boys and Girls Club of LeFlore County.  In addition to new information concerning Healthy and Fits Kids program, the Mentoring Program, and enrollments numbers from the three units, the Coalition was informed that the BGCLC will be receiving some substanial funding from the stimulus legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.  These funds, in keeping with the intent of the legistlation, will be for employment and/or re-employment only and cannot be used for programming as understood by the Director of BGCLC.  The Director will be meeting with BGCA representatives next week for exact details of the funds and the limitations/restrictions placed upon them.  MORE GREAT NEWS for LeFlore County.

One of the more important agenda items that was tabled (due to turn out) was the re-vitalizing the four core committees of the Coalition.  Those committees are 1) Education and Prevention, 2) Intervention and Treatment, 3) Law Enforcement, and 4) Public Relations and Fund Raising.  This topic will be on the agenda for the October 21st meeting.  These committees are important and your efforts are sorely needed.  If you find that you have a unique expertise or special interest in one of these areas, please step up and join the committee of your choice.  Through your efforts we are slowly chipping away at some of the more challenging social issues facing the citizens of LeFlore County.  Thank each of you for your assistance and with your continued efforts more good things are sure to come.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you October 21st if not before.

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