FOCUS Monthly Newsletter
January 2024

Coosa Central Health Fair

On November 14, 2023, Coosa Central High School was host to their first health fair sponsored by the Goodwater ENI (Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative). Twenty Alabama communities are partners with the ENI, which is dedicated to growing equity and improving health outcomes in their neighborhoods. ENI is a community-focused, community-shaped initiative. Community members mold ENI through local Advisory Groups and Youth Community Councils. Together, youth and adults work to improve health outcomes for their town. Mr. Tracy Burton, the Goodwater ENI community liaison, was instrumental in coordinating the health fair at Coosa Central. He shared, “The students from Central Coosa deserve good health care. Health is vital to all aspects of life. I believe that some people, as well as students, will do much better if they have equality and fairness to good health. Not every situation or case is the same, but good health will provide a much better society. ENI, through The University of Alabama, has given a platform and assistance to try and make a difference in people's lives. I have always believed what the poet Maya Angelou stated, ‘Do the best you can until you know better; and when you know better, do better.’ I believe it is most important that all people understand the importance of good mental and physical health; and if there is anything that I can do to make things better for Coosa County or any area, that I will do.”

Several of the students at Coosa Central served as ambassadors for the health fair by welcoming and assisting the vendors and leading groups of students in Grades K-12 through the health fair. Some of these students are members of the Coosa Central FOCUS Program led by Ms. Toccarro Long, who is working to rebuild the program and recruit new members. Ms. Long explained, “As the FOCUS facilitator for Coosa County Schools, I am ecstatic about implementing the program here. In my role as Mental Health Services Coordinator, it is my duty to assist students who may be struggling mentally, socially, and/or emotionally. I believe that the FOCUS program will allow me to expand the work that I already do for Tier I support. My vision is for students to feel empowered and supported by their peers, as well as motivated to do what's right. We have AMAZING students here at Coosa, but sometimes they don't always make the best decisions. I firmly believe that good people sometimes make bad choices, but it is our responsibility to intervene and provide students with the education and support to become great leaders. The way that we do that is meeting them exactly where they are, and becoming that bridge for them. What better way to meet them where they are than through their peers. . . the people who look like them, the people with whom they associate, and the people around whom they feel comfortable.”

FOCUS is a student-led organization, empowering students to be actively involved in reducing the incidences of risky behaviors among their peers. Mrs. Sue Jones and Mrs. Carol Sprayberry, FOCUS administrators, were on hand at the health fair to engage the students in age-appropriate conversations with the younger students regarding making good choices and being kind; and discussing topics of concern among teenagers with the older students. Students, teachers, and administrators alike agreed that vaping, distracted driving, underage drinking, and anxiety/depression are among the top concerns in our youth today.

FOCUS and events like a health fair at your local schools can help with preventive and educational activities and discussions. There is a Health Fair Implementation Guide in the FOCUS website portal for your assistance in hosting your own health fair. Let’s do our part to Make a Difference in the lives of our youth who are our future!

2024 Difference Maker

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

SHOUT OUT to ALL FOCUS Facilitators! Register your school, raise money, and join us for the END Addiction BHAM Walk! See you there!

More information may be found at

Visit the APC Website

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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.


  • 22-27       National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week


  • 1-28  American Heart Month
  • 1-28  Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month


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

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