FOCUS Monthly Newsletter
March 2024

Submit Your Nominations!

Deadline March 29

NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN for the 2024 "Difference Maker of the Year!" The Facilitator chosen as the "Difference Maker" will receive $1,000 cash to be used however they choose. The "Difference Maker" will be chosen based on their school's activities, their level of involvement with FOCUS, and the creation of successful prevention activities and events. All nominations must be received by 5:00pm on March 29, 2024.

Click the button below for more information or to nominate a Difference Maker!

Nominate a Difference Maker


There is a state resolution established by the Alabama State Board of Education (August 27, 1987, and October 22, 1987 meetings) that all students in Grades 5-12 receive instruction about HIV and AIDS? 


If you take a moment to research HIV among youth and young adults ages 13-24 years, the reason for the HIV resolution by the Alabama State Board of Education is obvious. The virus which causes AIDS is being transmitted among youth and young adults in Alabama at a rate higher than the national average. There were 118 newly diagnosed cases in Alabama in 2023. Cumulative cases in Alabama number above 5,500 among youth and young adults. 

In 2020, youth ages 13-24 years made up 20% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States, but 21.8% in Alabama. It is also important to note that nearly half of young people living with HIV are unaware of their status. Adolescence and young adulthood are critical periods of human development, and an important time to lay the foundations of good health. 


Join us in helping Youth Lead and End the HIV Epidemic in Alabama! Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Month will be held in April 2024, to educate the public about the impact of HIV prevention, treatment, and care campaigns of young people in Alabama. FOCUS is partnering with AL Department of Public Health, Health Services Center, and Addiction Prevention Coalition's Project Leap for Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Month. We will be providing education and resources for Sexually Transmitted Infections including HIV. Check out the "YOUTH HIV/AIDS AWARENESS MONTH" PLANNING GUIDE on the FOCUS Facilitator Page at  

We’re reaching the students through social media for prevention messages! Our partnership will be utilizing Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, and X (formerly Twitter) for educational posts for a powerful Youth HIV Awareness Social Media Campaign. 

Complete the short form in the link provided if you are a registered FOCUS School interested in receiving information and promotional items for your awareness activities. The items will be delivered to schools in early April. 

Sign-Up Form

Throughout adolescence, teens learn how to form and navigate relationships with friends and love interests. These important relationships are closely tied to each individual’s well being. Sadly, teens are continuing to experience relationship violence, and in some cases, this violence has been increasing over the past 10 years, as reported in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data Summary and Trends Report. In fact, 1.5 million high school students reported physical or sexual victimization. As FOCUS and Peer Helping sponsors, it is imperative that we foster conversations about healthy and unhealthy in person and online relationships as well as provide an action plan for help.


We encourage you and your students to use our updated resource links on this topic. Resources can also be found on our website facilitator portal, including a Powerpoint presentation compiled by our FOCUS team member and counselor, Kim Bailey.


Healthy Relationship Quiz

Am I A Good Partner? Quiz

Self Care Quiz

Teen Abuse Safety Plan

How Would You Help?

Dating Scenarios Activity

One Love Foundation, founded to honor the tragic death of Yeardley Love, has resources including videos, scenario games and educational information with a mission of ending relationship abuse.

Common Sense Education has lesson plans regarding how digital devices and social media impact friendships as well as setting healthy online boundaries Rewarding Relationships. Register for your free account.

If you or someone you know is experiencing dating or domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, there are many services available to help, including the Teen Dating Abuse Hotline, 1-866-331-9474, text ‘LOVEIS’ to 22522, or visit

"April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a united nationwide effort to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and eliminate preventable deaths and injuries on our roadways. Accordingly to the latest statistics released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 37,000 people were killed on our highways in 2016, an increase of 5.6% from 2015. Here is what you can do for Distracted Driving Awareness Month (and the following months) to make yourself, your family, your employees and our roads safer."

Registration is NOW OPEN for the 2024 END ADDICTION WALK

Grab a friend and register today!

Here's what you need to know:

Event Date: April 6, 2024

Event Location: City Walk BHAM Amphitheater

Check-in/Registration Time: 10:00 AM

Program Begins: 11:00 AM, followed by walk and celebration

Price: FREE to attend & walk | $25 to receive a T-shirt, "Walking for" credentials, and other Walk swag.

Register at ENDADDICTIONBHAM.ORG. Register as an individual or as a team. Top fundraisers will receive awards at the event! Donations welcome!

What is the END ADDICTION BHAM Walk?: 

It's more than just a walk! This event is a celebration that has grown since its first year in 2017. We'll celebrate sobriety, play games, remember those we've lost, dance, and walk together in solidarity to raise awareness about the dangers of substance misuse, and more!

From June 2022 to June 2023, the CDC reports that Alabama saw a 16.93% increase in drug overdose deaths, yet again proving that Alabama is still in crisis.

Partners and attendees of this event know that we are 


 we want for our loved ones and for our community.

Join us at the Walk, and join us in this movement as we continue to fight against addiction in 2024.

Register Now

REMEMBER to tap in to the many resources available on the Facilitator Portal at Digital FOCUS Brochure; Implementation Guide; Videos; Posters; Character Education Resource; PowerPoint for FOCUS Extracurricular Implementation; HIV Teacher Training; HIV 101; FOCUS Group Training; Certificates of

Leadership and Participating; and numerous other resources!

Connect with FOCUS!

Stay up to date on everything that is happening with FOCUS by following us on social media! Don't hesitate, follow us today!
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Monthly Health Observances

We encourage all FOCUS schools to engage in at least one health observance activity each month. Each month has some excellent choices for students on your campuses to “Make a Difference” and to encourage their peers to participate.



  • 1-30   Alcohol Awareness Month
  • 1-30 National Distracted Driving Awareness (End Distracted Driving)
  • 7 World Health Day
  • 10 Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day


FOCUS values continued partnerships with the following state and community organizations.

Alabama Department of Public Health

Alabama Department of Education

Addiction Prevention Coalition

Children's Policy Council

Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS)

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama

Be Part of Making A Difference!

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