February 2020
Highlights & Annoucements
City and School Staff Attend National Leadership Forum

Each February, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America hosts the National Leadership Forum at National Harbor,  a 4-day conference packed with
multiple adult and youth-oriented opportunities to learn the latest strategies to fight substance abuse and hear from nationally-known experts and policymakers . This year, SAPCA Coordinator Emma Beall, Opioid Response Coordinator Emily Bentley, and Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) Substance Abuse Prevention Counselors Fredy Martinez and Ruthy Mercado attended this event.

On the last day of the conference, Emma, Fredy and Ruthy presented "The Opportunity Seminar: Engaging Families in Substance Misuse Prevention Through Partnerships," a session that shared how Alexandria's school district, substance misuse prevention coalition and juvenile court developed a collaborative model to address substance use infractions through a bi-monthly seminar delivered to students and their families. To learn more about this program, contact Fredy Martinez at Fredy.Martinez@acps.k12.va.us
#FactOfTheMonth: Making Time for Self-Care

Each month, SAPCA  highlights one key fact about substance use.  This month  we highlight  the importance of finding healthy ways to cope with stress. 

For the past few weeks, students in T.C.'s KeepIt360 club, co-sponsored by SAPCA and the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP), have been learning about mental health and self-care. Last week, students made their own personalized self care plans before creating self-care kits.

Self-care looks different for each of us and can include keeping a journal, meditating, exercising, making plans with friends, or talking to a trusted adult.  Check out the self-care plan club members completed individually to see how you can make self-care part of your routine.
Have an idea for our next #FactOfTheMonth ? Email Emma Beall at  emma.beall@alexandriava.gov
February Titan Takeover Recap

On Friday, February 14, over 70   teens across Alexandria attended a Valentine's Day themed Titan Takeover Teen Night at Charles Houston Recreation Center. Students enjoyed   pizza, raffles and giveaways, a candy station, music, dancing, and a photo booth. Stay tune d for information about our next Titan Takeover!

Red Ribbon Week Poster Contest Winners Announced

Please join us in congratulating the following three

Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention awareness campaign celebrated every year in October. It is an ideal way for people and communities to unite and take a visible stand against drugs. This year's theme was  "Send a message. Stay Drug Free." 

Elementary school  winner: 
Allison Benitez, age 8, from  Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School.

Middle school winner:  
S arah McBurney, age 13, from  George Washington Middle School.

Each of these students will receive an $100 gift card and have their  poster featured as part of Red Ribbon Week 2020. Congratulations Allison, Sarah and Caitlin!
ACPS Poetry Contest Deadline - Monday, March 2

The deadline for the ACPS Poetry Contest is Monday, March 2, 2020. The contest is sponsored by Labyrinth Magazine and is open to grades 3-12. 

Guidelines for the contest: 
  • Poems can be written in any form.
  • All poems must have titles.
  • Include your name, grade and English teacher on your submission.
There will be winners for each grade level and an overall T.C. winner. Winning poems will be published in the 2020 ACPS Poetry Anthology and recognized at an award ceremony in April.
Submit your poem to your English teacher or email it to labyrinthmagazine@gmail.com
Governor's Health Sciences Academy Application Open

The application for students interested in becoming part of the 2020-2021 Governor's Health Sciences Academy at T.C. Williams High School is now open and  available here.  Completed applications are due Friday, March 27, 2020. Once the application has closed, students can no longer apply to the program for the upcoming school year. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Students will be notified in late May 2020 regarding their admission decision.
College Scholarship Opportunity -  Service Learning Projects Addressing Youth Vaping

Each year, CATCH My Breath selects three students that participate in service learning projects designed to help prevent youth vaping to receive scholarships for college. Projects will be judged on impact, creativity, and reach and reports must be submitted by 5 p.m. PST on Friday, May 15, 2020 to be eligible for consideration for this year's scholarship awards.

Interested students are able to choose from the following service projects:
  • Deliver a community presentation about the youth vaping epidemic.
  • Personalize, share and promote a fundraising website that supports the CATCH My Breath Program
  • Work with your school administrators to implement the CATCH My Breath Program in a new school.
To view project guides and resources available, or to learn more about CATCH My Breath, click here.
Save the Date: Healthy Conversations  

Parents and teens are invited to Healthy Conversations, an interactive workshop about making healthy choices during adolescence, on March 25 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at GW Middle School. 

During this event co-sponsored by SAPCA, ACAP, SCAN of Northern Virginia and the ACPS Family and Community Engagement Center,  participants will learn about foundational relationships, strategies to show love and support, and how to address difficult topics. Attendees will also have time to practice how to address difficult scenarios. Dinner, child care and interpretation will be provided.

Stay tuned for more information about this event!
Upcoming Community Events
Interested in getting involved with SAPCA?
Contact Us:
Emma Beall, SAPCA Coordinator
Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria 
123 N Pitt St, Suite 225
Alexandria, VA 22314
O: 703.746.3670 
C: 571.302.1022
emma.beall @alexandriava.gov