The 2008-09 school year marks the third year that Larchmont-Mamaroneck RADAR is funded by the five year Drug Free Communities (DFC) Federal Grant that was awarded in 2006. The grant provides funding for two goals: one, to build the capacity and ensure the sustainability of the Coalition; and, two, to reduce underage drinking and drug use in the community. The amount of the grant is approximately $93,000, renewable for five years, for a total of $465,000. Under the grant, the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Community Counseling Center ("LMCC") serves as the fiscal agent and Robbie Seidman of the LMCC serves as Project Director of the grant. Ms. Buchbinder serves as the grant coordinator and president of RADAR
This is an update on our activities and initiatives supporting these goals.
Capacity Building and Sustainability
In 2008, RADAR developed by-laws and a well-defined structure to support the operation of the Coalition.
We have a Board of Directors
, officers and importantly a strong and broad-community based advisory board.
We are currently working on building the operating committees of the Coalition. Through this website, RADAR will be able to develop an even stronger partnership with the community.
In April 2008, RADAR, with the help of the Mamaroneck Schools, administered the CTC Teen Survey and the Pride Parent Survey. Results of the surveys will be shared with the community in March 2009.Reducing Underage Drinking and Drug Use
RADAR serves as a catalyst, convener, and facilitator for community-wide drug and alcohol prevention efforts including: community awareness; public policy/enforcement; education; alternative activities; and treatment/services. Below are some of the Coalition's recent activities in these areas:
- Community Awareness and Solution Building
On February 26, 2009 RADAR hosted a Community Forum attended by over 80 leaders of our community. Leaders from the Mamaroneck School District, local goverments, faith, civic and business leaders and parents all worked to identity key risk factors and conditions giving rise to use of alcohol and drugs by youth in our community. The group creatively developed ideas for many activities to address some of he top risk factors.
On May 21, 2008 RADAR sponsored the community's first Youth Dialogue Day. Approximately 60 community leaders gathered at Larchmont Avenue Church to listen to a panel of Mamaroneck High School students talk about issues and concerns of importance to teens today. After listening to the students, the adults participated in small group discussions to share thoughts on what they just heard. Next steps from this event will be to create a plan of action to prioritize and address issues raised.
The Parents Who Host, Lose The Most- Don't be a party to teenage drinking- Campaign for 07 and 08 ran from the end of May through June to coincide with prom and graduation seasons. The focus was on increasing awareness of our tri-municipal Hotline and to encourage safe, substance-free celebrations. To increase its outreach, RADAR, in collaboration with LMC-TV and the mayors and town supervisor, produced a public service announcement for the campaign. In addition, the Coalition provided pediatricians and orthodontists in the area with packets of information about the health and safety risks of underage drinking, along with a stack of fact cards they can have available at their offices for parents of their patients.
September brings national Family Day- A day to eat dinner with your children. RADAR supported this campaign and promoted local awareness through a collaborative effort with restaurants in the community.
- Public Policy/ Enforcement
In March 2008, RADAR met with Town of Mamaroneck officials to continue discussions on law enforcement and how we might work together to increase community understanding of, and support for, underage drinking laws.
Legislation for a Social Host Law was passed in spring 2008 by Westchester County and is being considered on the New York State levels. The Social Host Law strengthens law enforcement's ability to hold adults accountable for allowing underage drinking parties in their homes. Janet Buchbinder, the RADAR Coordinator and president, along with other RADAR members, testified in support of the County bill and has been involved with the statewide effort. RADAR member and County Legislator Judy Myers sits on the legislative committee that passed the County bill.
In fall 2007, RADAR provided training for the local Girl Scout troop leaders on how their work as Girl Scout leaders provides a strong protective factor for the girls, helping to keep them safe from drugs and alcohol.
RADAR continues to collaborate with Mamaroneck High School in the publishing of its Newsletter providing parenting tips and drug and alcohol information to community parents.
Spring 2008, RADAR provided TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) for employees of local private clubs. The training teaches server/sellers of alcohol how to prevent intoxication, drunk driving, and underage drinking. Spring 2009 RADAR plans to offer the training to local businesses involved with off-premise sales.
During 2007 and 2008 RADAR provided opportunities for parents of teens to participant in a series of workshops called "Staying Connected With Your Teen." Social workers from Mamaroneck High School and the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Community Counseling Center facilitated the workshops.
The DFC grant continues to support the Second Steps life skills program for students at Hommocks Middle School which is led by staff of the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Community Counseling Center.
- Alternative Activities
Several Battle of the Bands are held each school year. This activity, in which local teen bands compete for best band of the evening, continues to be very popular among our high school students. It is a collaborative effort involving RADAR, Mamaroneck High School, local youth officers and the Mamaroneck Recreation Dept.
Youth Dialogue Day was a youth activity involving several months of planning and preparation for the actual community event which was held spring 2008.
- Tri-Municipal Hotline
To build awareness for the Tri-Municipal Hotline (914-381-6103), RADAR promoted the Hotline number during the Parents Who Host Campaign. The anonymous Hotline is for concerned residents to be able to report to police potential problems where groups of youth or individual teens may be putting themselves in danger. The mayors and town supervisor helped by sharing the message in a PSA on LMC-TV.
RADAR looks forward to our continued to work in the future to support the health and safety of our youth.