The Coalition News: 
Issue 3
November 2016
Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback we've received following our first issues of the Coalition News. We're so excited about using this monthly newsletter to better connect Charlestown residents to the work we and our partners are doing in the community. For questions and suggestions, feel free to reach out to Coalition Director,  Sarah Coughlin

Turn it Around

We're hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner on  Tuesday, 
November 22nd for our Turn it Around youth. 

To help make this a success, we are hoping for community members to donate their favorite side dish or dessert!

If you're interested in donating, contact Olivia Larkin at 
617-913-8029 or

Prevention Month at 
Edwards  Middle School
October was Substance Use Disorder Prevention Month. In observance, the Coalition partnered with the Edwards Middle School for the second year in a row to run a series of lesso ns and assemblies

Throughout the month, a photo project created by Turn it Around was on display at the Edwards. The photos, taken by Turn it Around members, depicted
healthier ways of dealing with stress than using drugs and alcohol .

Early in the month, Cassandra Tavaras of MGH's Center for Community Health Improvement's  Evaluations Team presented to school faculty about substance use and Charlestown middle school students, with a specific f ocus on Edwards students. 

The data came from MGH's Youth Risk Behavior  Surveys (YRBS) that were administered at both middle schools last winter. 

After learning more about their students' exposure to drugs and alcohol, teachers administered a pre-test created by the Coalition in order to assess student knowledge and opinions regarding drug use and addiction. 

Faculty then led two half hour lesson plans. The first centered around "myth vs. reality" -- questions about drug use, some basic background information about addiction, and what drugs do to a person's body.

For the second lesson, students read a variety of biographies written by people in recovery. The goal was to reduce the stigma often associated with addiction.

Students also learned about some environmental factors that can help to reduce the risk of addiction and drug use, and some that may increase them. 

Four assemblies were held during the week following the lessons. The  hour long assemblies were facilitated by four people in recovery, and an Edward s teacher who has dealt with substance use disorders  in her family. 

T he speakers were well received, with students asking many questions and engaging in a lively dialogue.

More than two thirds of the students raised their hands when asked if they knew someone who was addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Students have now completed a post-test that will be compared to the pre-tests to see if we have accomplished our goals of educating and decreasing the stigma around substance use disorders. 

To learn more, don't hesitate to reach out to our Prevention Program Coordinator, Olivia Larkin .

Voices of Recovery:
Meet Tommy

Straight Outta Charlestown:
 Turn it Around Youth of the Month!

Every month we will feature a Turn it Around
member who has shown a huge commitment to the group and both planning and running community events. For the month 
of November, we will be honoring long-term member,  Frankie Feeley. Let's hear from Frankie!

My name is Frankie Feeley. I'm 16 years old and go to East Boston High School. I grew up in Charlestown for most of my life. I lived in Charlestown up until I was nine years old when my parents got a divorce, and I moved in with my dad. Living with my dad, I spent much of my time in Danvers and weekends in Charlestown. 

My mom stayed in Charlestown, and I just recently moved back in with her. Being 16, my eyes have opened to the unbelievable use of opiate drugs in Massachusetts, especially on the North Shore and in the Boston area. Scrolling down my Facebook feed, there always seems to be a post about an overdose or bad batch of heroin. 

Walking the streets of Boston, you see many types of people. Rich people, poor people, middle class people, college students, and kids -- people of all races. Among these people you can see the ones that drugs have gotten the best of. It's sad to see,  and that is why I joined Turn It Around. I like being a part of Turn it Around because I know I can make a difference in somebody's life, and I feel as though I can have a strong influence and be a role model for other children and even adults. 

November's Important Dates
Check out what's going on within the Charlestown Coalition!

GRASP Group (6 - 7 pm)

Mayor's Open House (6 - 8 pm)

Charlestown Holiday Stroll



Learn More!
Charlestown Coalition, MGH Center for Community Health Improvement  | 617-726-6684  |
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