The Charlestown Coalition News: 
Issue 37
September 2019
October is Prevention Month
for the past nine years, the Charlestown Coalition has partnered with the  Clarence R. Edwards Middle School,  the  Harvard-Kent School,  the  Warren Prescott School,  and the Mass General Hospital's Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI)  to deliver the Botvin LifeSkills and Stay-In-Shape curriculum to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, and t he program will resume this fall semester.  
The curriculum encourages healthy habits around nutrition and exercise; teaches about smoking, drugs and bullying prevention; and, helps students learn relaxation techniques, among other important health improvement skills. 

The Coalition also hosts educational assemblies and activities for students as part of Prevention Month at the local elementary and middle schools.

This year, we are going digital by engaging youth in our,  "Advice to My Middle School Self,"   photo contest produced by the   Turn It Around   youth group.
Our goal is to pass on to the younger generation wisdom the older youth wish they had while in middle school. We're helping kids with more effective ways to handle life's pressures, make better decisions, and avoid risky behaviors.
Try it yourself! Use your phone's camera setting to scan here and learn more:

Crossroad Resource Center:
Grand Opening!

New Health Charlestown has partnered with the MGH Charlestown Health Center to create a space where folks can drop-in and get connected to resources/services and build relationships.

The Crossroads Drop In Resource Center is now open 2 days a week and is located at New Health Charlestown, 15 Tufts Street.

As of now, the resource center will be open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30 to 3:30PM.

A Park Without Peace

Last year, the Charlestown Coalition applied for and received a City of Boston Love Your Block Grant   to revitalize a neglected area at the foot of Mt. Vernon Street.
But the road to the revitalization was not smooth as a few neighbors were unhappy with the plan. We heard that some Mt. Vernon St. residents preferred a parking lot at that location.
The Charlestown Coalition used the conflict as an opportunity to increase community participation in the project by asking for more residents to volunteer and get involved. It was also a teachable moment about overcoming obstacles for our Turn it Around youth who worked tirelessly to renovate the space.
In the spirit of unity and healing, the neighborhood ultimately came together in June of 2018 to rededicate the park as a place of respite
and reflection. Brightly colored rocks painted with the names of those who had passed due to violence or substance use were placed around the area. Plaques with inspirational messages were affixed to park benches, and the fencing was freshly painted. Religious leaders, politicians, and, most importantly, neighbors and friends came out to celebrate the dedication. A peace walk throughout the community followed with more than 100 residents taking part.
Sadly, we have recently learned that the park has been vandalized-- rocks have been taken, plaques removed from the benches, and the fencing painted over black.

This project has meant so much to so many, and we are committed to rebuilding the space. A GoFund Me page has been set up to restore the original purpose and integrity of the Peace Park. We hope that, once again, the community will unite to rebuild our Peace Park bigger and better than ever. 

Upcoming Event: HeART in the Park
T hough our Peace Park's aesthetics have been compromised, the meaning remains intact. What better way to reunite the community than to host a Turn It Around , "Interactive Art Exhibit," in our neighborhood's very own Peace Park?
You will find more details  here.

Turn It Around:
Athlete Highlights

Read the full article 

A Recap of Recovery Month

The Charlestown Coalition and Turn It Around had a very busy month during September, hosting and participating in several events focused on Recovery, including our Recovery Month BBQ Kickoff, MOAR Recovery Day, and the 11th Annual Charlestown Candlelight Vigil. To see photos of our Recovery Month events, check our social media pages, links are below.

Turn It Around :
Youth of the Month

Natania S.

 Natania is our September Turn It Around Youth of the Month!  

Natania is a new edition to Turn It Around this fall, and she's hit the ground running since joining. She has already participated in MULTIPLE events.
 She helped us out at BHA's "Family Fun Day" by making slime with many of the young kids who attended the event. She also was the ONLY TIA member to attend the MOAR Recovery Day event, and she showed so much compassion and caring while helping out at the 11th annual Charlestown Candlelight Vigil. Just a freshman at Charlestown High, we are all so excited that Natania will be part of Turn It Around for years to come!

-Mswati Hanks (Youth Prevention 

Voices of Recovery
Lauren Lundin
Lauren Lundin  is sharing her journey in recovery with us this month.

Click below for the full interview.

Safe Consumption Sites
Click here to learn about the MGH Charlestown Healthcare Center Awareness Events on Safe Consumption Sites. 

Get Connected, Stay Informed
To learn more about our programs, our staff, community partners, resources, upcoming events,  Turn It Around , program impact, and more, click the button below:

Charlestown Coalition  | MGH Center for Community Health Improvement  
617-726-0059 |

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