As we approach the final months of the 2019-2020 school year it is important to spend time not only highlighting the hard work so many of you have put into your Chapter events, but also still find ways to keep going as a community during this difficult time. It is disheartening to know that so many Chapters have had to cancel their OS events this spring semester but there are so many ways to stay connected. We are a Community of Caring all-year round!
Ideas from others:
  1. Start a positive texting chain – Just how phone call chains used to be the way information was shared in the past, a texting chain can be created. Once the first person starts and contacts their identified person with a ‘hello’ and a their favorite uplifting quote/video/song, that person then continues the chain.
  2. See if a speaker you hired would be willing to film their presentation – you could then send this out to individuals on your OS staff or who were signed up to attend your event.
  3. A video of how to do warm fuzzies over chat program.
  4. Digital no-talent show - everyone could use a laugh!
  5. Whip around on social media - Start a whip around question on a social media page to continue forming connections.
  6. Guided meditation/visualization - this could be really beneficial to those that need some assistance in calming nerves or worries.

We know nothing can replace an OS event, since so much of the impact is in the direct contact you have with individuals but this is a time to think outside the box and give your student leaders a platform to brainstorm how they want to continue to spread the OS Spirit. 

Please feel free to contact Riley Blythe at riley@ilabh.org for any questions about specific Chapter programming.
Join Us!
With the change of spring plans and getting accustomed to our "new normal" we decided it was the perfect time to get together to spread some snowball love to the OS community.

We would like to invite you to join us for our first
Snowball Showdown!

This will be an opportunity to hear from OS alum on how they are keeping busy, a time for student leaders to share how they are feeling about recent changes, hear from guest speakers, and spread some kindness to keep the Snowball spirit going.
Date: April 15th
Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 339 254 8852
For the 2020-2021 (NEXT) School Year
7th and 8th grade students will apply as middle school participants. 9th - 12th graders attending for the first time will apply as a high school participant.10th grade students attending as a high school participant for the second time will apply as high school participants.
PALS (Peers with Advanced Leadership Skills)
11th or 12th grade students who attended for at least one year as a high school participant will apply for PALS (Peers with Advanced Leadership Skills). This program is geared towards students who have shown strong leadership qualities and would like to take on an active leadership role at CGTI.
Youth Staff Program
12th grade students who have completed PALS will apply as a Youth Staff. 2020 graduates who have not completed Youth Staff, will apply as Youth Staff. Youth Staff arrive on Friday, July 17 at 12:00pm and go through two days of staff training. They will co-facilitate discussion groups with volunteer staff. Youth Staff will also have nightly meetings with their Youth Staff advisors
Adult Mentor Program
An Adult Mentor is someone 18 years or older working directly with the youth back in their school and community on their action plan. The registration fee for Mentors is the same as participants. For every seven participants registered, one adult mentor can attend at no cost.
If you're unsure where you should apply please contact ashley@ilabh.org.
Please provide your current grade, level of participation, and question you have.

For inquiries and scheduling requests please contact Riley Blythe
riley@ilabh.org | 217.528.7335 ext. 27
Year-Round Prevention Campaign Strategies
During this training session attendees evaluated current prevention campaigns, and learned new and innovative ways to engage youth, communities, and key stakeholders in drug/alcohol prevention. 
ATOD Trends in Illinois

Participants received information about the trends surrounding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) among youth, the negative consequences associated, strategies used to prevent the issue, and what community members can do to help. The training was used to educate already established groups and help new groups develop their strategies.
2020 OS District Map
Operation Snowball, Inc. is the central hub for our Chapters, and we love being able to visit and support your events however we can. Our Snowball family can easily expand across the state to other Chapters and this all begins with knowing what is going on around Illinois. Please go to our website to see when Chapter Snowball events are happening - send each other good luck wishes, and let's continue to see this positivity snowball.
Many of our Operation Snowball Chapters held their BIG events this winter, here are a few highlights!
Highland High School
Operation Snowball
 For the first time this year, they hosted Parent’s Night Out: Snow Flurries in February! They wanted to get their entire community involved in Snowball so they invited all of the kids in grades K-5 to sign up for Parent’s Night Out and had a group of about 15 middle school leaders help us run the event as well! Two of their activities included dinner (pizza, chips, and cookies) and tie-dyeing. They also had a snowflake making station where they discussed the importance of being unique, an indoor snowball fight station with a bounce house that taught teamwork, and a Kid President video that talked all about how important it is to be kind. Congratulations Highland on a successful event!
West Leyden
High School
Operation Snowball

West Leyden High School hosted their "Hugs Not Drugs" event this February. The event was run through every lunch period. Students were given a 'goodie bag' that had important information about vaping and anxiety - their two CAT plan initiatives for the school year. Keep up the great work!
Amari Brown
District 1
Jake Levinson
District 1
Kelly Stadter
District 1
Tessa Konzal
District 2
Cheyanne Kreusch
District 2
Cierra Johnson
District 2
Caleb Fabish
District 3
Dennis Trask
District 3
Ryan Dickinson
At-Large Representative
Katie Hyland
At-Large Representative
Mackenzie Freund
IABH Appointee
Laura Larson-Gibbons
IABH Appointee
Alissa LaRose
IABH Appointee
Natalie Maggiore
IABH Appointee
Brandon Moran
IABH Appointee
Emma Murphy
Youth Advocate
Brittany Reed
Youth Advoate
Lyann Tam
Youth Advocate
Hannah Li
Youth Advocate
Victoria Panocha
Youth Advoate
Autumn Boeing
Youth Advocate

Mental Health Resources
for Schools & Students Amidst COVID-19
Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress.

Vaping: Know the Facts Toolkit
An awareness campaign and toolkit for parents, teachers, school administrators, and teens. As the real risks of “vaping” remain largely misunderstood by adults and teens alike, Vaping: Know the Facts boils down the latest science into a free, open-source toolkit that explains the harms associated with adolescent vaping and empowers audiences with the tools to take action.

Calling Young Artists!
Mental Health First Aid USA is looking for young artists to help highlight the importance of mental health and decrease stigma associated with mental illness and addiction. They are looking for artwork from youth that fits their “mental wellness” theme and addresses the following:
  • What does mental wellness look like, or feel like, to you? 
  • How does art help you when you’re feeling mentally unwell? 

K-12 Toolkit for
Mental Health Promotion
and Suicide Prevention
The K-12 Toolkit for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention was created by the Health Care Alliance for Response to Adolescent Depression (HEARD) in 2013 (updated in 2017), in response to a need for schools to promote student mental health and well-being, to prevent suicide and, in particular, how to respond after a suicide loss. 

 The toolkit convenes national best practices from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH), and several other organizations. 
How to Get Help
If you or someone you know is in a suicidal crisis, call or text a suicide hotline (toll free, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week):
  • Text HELLO to 741741 to connect with someone
  • Call SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Call 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
  • Call 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) for hearing & speech impaired
  • Call 1-866-488-7386 for the Trevor Project, a suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth
MISSION STATEMENT: Through the development of leadership skills, Operation Snowball shall be a youth and adult partnership, providing awareness and prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, while encouraging healthy decision-making in an active community of caring.
Operation Snowball, Inc.

937 South 2nd Street | Springfield, IL 62704
217.528.7335 ext. 27