Education and outreach event (courtesy photo)

The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth has awarded a three-year, $150,000 grant to SCAN of Northern Virginia to support parent education and engagement that facilitates youth tobacco use prevention in the City of Alexandria. SCAN of Northern Virginia, Alexandria City Public Schools and Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services will work together over the next three years to provide a series of Strengthening Families trainings in ACPS schools, Healthy Conversation forums for parents, and a variety of other public education and outreach events. 

“We are thrilled that VFHY is continuing to support our work educating families about more effective parenting and the role it plays in reducing risk factors, as well as directly educating students about the dangers of tobacco and drug use,” said Marisol Morales, Parent Education Program Manager at SCAN of Northern Virginia.  SCAN received a similar grant from VFHY in 2015 to launch the program. During the first three years of the grant, SCAN reached 205 youth and 152 families with 12 series in both elementary and secondary schools throughout ACPS.

The Family and Community Engagement Center (FACE) at Alexandria City Public Schools will once again provide access to schools and outreach to parents in the district, as well as staff support during trainings. Alexandria DCHS will be responsible for implementing community awareness initiatives that build a school environment against youth tobacco use.

“Working with community partners like ACPS and DCHS, we have seen how our coordinated work can have an even greater impact on families in our community,” said Morales. “This grant is a valuable opportunity to reach students—where they are—as well as parents and other adults in the community who can connect with kids to make a difference.”