Spa City group helps youth live healthier lives through a myriad of services

Prevention Council School Services director Pat Marin shows guests the difference between a smoker’s lung and a healthy lung.

Prevention Council School Services director Pat Marin shows guests the difference between a smoker’s lung and a healthy lung.

— The group’s funding comes from a variety of places, including the New York State Office for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, the Department of Health, Saratoga County and federal programs. Kisselback says those resources make for a nice mix and allows them to stay in touch with everyone.

“We have a wonderful relationship with the city police here in Saratoga Springs as well as the sheriff’s department and the State Police and that’s a big help,” she said.

One of the most recent collaborations The Prevention Council has had with area schools is the Yellow Dyno Program, a child safety program for kids in kindergarten through fourth grade in the Ballston Spa Central School District.

Dave Mitchell, director of Pupil Services at BCSD, said, “It teaches them music-based lessons to recognize dangerous situations and how to protect themselves from all sorts of victimization.”

He also says that such collaboration with The Prevention Council is very important in assessing the district’s needs.

“They’re critical in meeting the needs of a high risk population of students,” he said.

The highest need right now, said Mitchell, is with homeless prevention.

“We have over 200 students who are either homeless or are at risk of being homeless. Through a McKinney-Vento grant, we hired staff from The Prevention Council to work with families that may need temporary housing, maybe at risk for losing their home, to find housing and provide resources like backpacks and sneakers,” he said.

With the advent of computers and cell phones, Kisselback says that attention to technology and how kids are exposed to situations has changed.

“For us it’s a matter of constantly staying relevant. New things are coming out, synthetic marijuana is very big right now and binge drinking,” she said.

With prom and party season approaching, The Prevention Council hosted its 30th annual Safe Spring Conference, with the message of staying sober during the season. More information on this topic and services available at The Prevention Council available at http://preventioncouncil.org.

The organization also works with the schools to support their after-prom parties and keep the police informed about when each district is having their prom/graduation. It also runs a tip line (1-866-under-21) that can be used to anonymously report a party.

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