FOCUS Monthly Newsletter
November 2021
~ Winner ~
Mrs. LaCarrieanne Kirkland, Southside High School in Dallas County, is the recipient of FOCUS merchandise as the winner of the 2021-22 Registration Contest!
Foundation For A Drug-Free World is a nonprofit organization that provides free materials with factual information about drugs. Rather than lecturing youth, their goal is to provide facts that empower youth to make the choice to live drug-free.
On their website you will find videos and e-courses ready to use, and they are perfect for Peer Helpers, FOCUS classes and FOCUS club meetings. A great lesson opener is to begin with their Public Service Announcements, They Said, They Lied. These videos expose the myths and realities of drug use and include candid interviews of those who have lived the harsh realities of drug abuse.
After watching their PSA’s or videos, discuss as a class, and then break into focus groups. Each focus group could discuss and complete the e-course together. 
Everything is ready for you to use in the link provided, and they will also send you free supplies by mail. Their brochures are great for FOCUS and Peer Helping events, grab and go literature, and more! 

Amy McCreless
Alumnus of the Month
Every month we will highlight
one of FOCUS' alumni!
Congratulations to Marty Green, our November Alumnus of the Month!

Marty Green is a 2021 graduate of Robert. C Hatch High School. While in high school, he participated in the dual enrollment program at Wallace Community College in Selma and graduated with a certification in welding. He was an active member of the FOCUS program, art club, and football team. Marty is an outgoing student who stated, "I have always enjoyed art, playing sports, and fishing". Marty is currently attending Wallace Community College in Selma to finish his welding credentials. He volunteers numerous hours each week to assist the current students in the welding program at Robert C. Hatch High School.

Ms. Eliza Dudley, FOCUS facilitator and teacher at Robert C. Hatch High School in Perry County, stated, "Marty Green was a member of numerous organizations while in high school. He was active in FOCUS, HOSA-Future Health Professionals, Lead4Change, and Peer Helpers. While actively involved in these organizations, Marty's many roles often required him to focus on others. Marty considered the well-being of others and how his role and actions as a Peer Helper and member of the FOCUS program impacted others while at school and within the community. Marty was kind hearted, considerate, and highly respected by staff and students."
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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.

  • November1-30--National Diabetes Month
  • November 2-5--National Stress Awareness Week
  • November 13--World Kindness Day
  • November 19--Great American SmokeOut Day
  • November 23--National Adoption Day
  • January 1-31--National Birth Defects Prevention Month
  • January 1-31--National Blood Donor Month
  • January 11--National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
Great American SmokeOut is on November 19

As we prepare for this month’s health observance, The Great American Smokeout, we focus on educating our students about the dangers of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. However, it is equally important to educate students about the risks of using e-cigarettes, which are incredibly popular among our youth.   

Thanks to Scholastic Corporation and the FDA, you have free resources available online that integrate ELA, math, science technology, health, and social studies! The articles are excellent, and additional digital resources are provided. There are games, videos of teens sharing their personal experiences, pediatrician interviews and more. Downloads are available for grades 6-8 and 9-12. 

As always, let’s work together to Make A Difference through education and candid discussion led by teachers, Peer Helpers, and focus groups. For lessons and resources,visit and

Amy McCreless
Activities Observed during Red Ribbon Week
Student Leadership Training Videos with PDF Handouts
Facilitator Page
(Use your confidential password)
Scroll down to “Hero Leadership Training Videos”

We are excited to announce a partnership with Kent Julian for the HERO Leadership Training Series! In this series, Kent will be providing four interactive leadership training videos for Alabama FOCUS schools.

To view the training series please visit our website and select the FOCUS Facilitator Login page. When registering as a FOCUS School for 2021-2022, every facilitator received a confidential password to access the Leadership Training Video Series and other valuable resources to empower students to lead the prevention of adolescent risk behaviors in schools and communities across the State of Alabama. If you have any questions please contact April at [email protected].
Thank you Kent Julian!


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

Alabama Department of Public Health
Alabama Department of Education
Alabama Campaign for Adolescent Sexual Health
Addiction Prevention Coalition
Children's Policy Council
Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama