March 2019 Newsletter
Highlights & Annoucements

City of Alexandria Celebrates Kick Butts Day 2019 

Each year, youth around the country mobilize to raise awareness about the problems of tobacco use through Kick Butts Day.  On Wednesday, March 20, youth in Alexandria participated in this annual day of activism in partnership with SAPCA, the Alexandria Police Department, the Alexandria Sheriff's Office, the T.C. Williams JROTC program, the Campagna Center's Building Better Futures Program and the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks
 and Cultural Activities. 

T.C. students  Frealem Bekele and Hadil Ahmed, members of the Keep It 360 club, kicked-off the event by thanking youth participants for their interest in making a difference in their community. The student speakers then introduced SAPCA Chair Allen Lomax, who spoke about the importance of preventing the next generation of youth from becoming addicted to tobacco. Allen also highlighted Alexandria's historical decrease in youth tobacco use.  After this kick-off event, 23 youth visited 40 retailers to remind managers and owners to always check ID to reduce youth tobacco use and save lives. A big thanks to all our youth volunteers and community partners for helping make this event so successful!

City Coalitions Share Successes with Alexandria PTA Council 

On Wednesday March 20, SAPCA and the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) presented to members of the Alexandria PTA Council about their efforts supporting Alexandria's youth to be healthy and successful. Both coalitions provided insight into their history, mission and community partners they collaborate with to reach a diverse array of community members across Alexandria. SAPCA and ACAP also promoted joint efforts, such as the annual Youth Leadership Conference, quarterly Titan Takeovers, Healthy Conversations Dinners, the Keep It 360 club and an emphasis on the  Developmental Assets. SAPCA and ACAP appreciated the opportunity to share our work with civic leaders and look forward to continuing to collaborate across sectors to raise awareness about our messages!

#FactOfTheMonth: Addressing Vaping 

  • Vaping is the act of inhaling an aerosol produced by a device. Devices have many names -- including e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vapes, and JUULs - and come in a wide array of shapes and sizes - from cigars or pipes to devices that resemble USBs.
  • As vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, long-terms examining its impact on teen health and behavior have not yet been completed. However, since the teen brain does not fully develop until age 25, vaping devices should not be considered safe for teen use. These devices expose users to thousands of chemicals - both known and unknown. Chemicals that have been found in vaping devices include nicotine, benzene, formaldehyde, and lead. 
What can parents do to prevent vaping?
  • Educate yourself about vaping
  • Look for opportunities to discuss vaping with your children
  • Make your values about vaping clear with your children 
  • Work with your child to strengthen their refusal skills
  • Be a role model through positive example setting

Have an idea for our next #FactOfTheMonth ? Email Emma Beall at

Middle School Families Engage in Dialogue on Healthy Decision-Making 

In March, SAPCA, ACAP, Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), the Family and Community Engagement Center (FACE) and Alexandria City Public School staff collaborated to host two Healthy Conversations Dinners at George Washington Middle School and Francis C. Hammond Middle School. Nearly 100 families were reached through these events, which  bring together parents and tweens for an evening of guided conversations about healthy decision-making and avoiding  risky behaviors. Thank you to all the families that attended these dinners - we hope you have kept the conversations going and look forward to hosting these events in the future!
Healthy Minds Art Contest
According to the World Health Organization, one in six teens age 10-19 U.S. teenagers experience mental health issues each year. Globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents and suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-19 year old.  The consequences of not addressing adolescent mental health extend into adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.  Mental health promotion and prevention are key to helping adolescents thrive. Do you want to help raise awareness about mental health topics experienced by teens? Apply for the Healthy Minds Art Contest, hosted by the KeepIt360 club! Two winners will each receive a portable Bluetooth speaker and a $25 gift card and one winner will receive an Amazon fire stick and a $25 gift card. This contest is open to middle and high school students that live in Alexandria. Entries are due by May 10 at 11:59 p.m. For more information, visit

Click here  to view the contest entry form.
Click here  here to view the contest rules.
Click here  to view a PDF of this flyer in English.
 Click here  to view a PDF of this flyer in Spanish.
Click here to view a PDF of this resource. 
Upcoming Community Events
City of Alexandria Health Department Celebrates 100 Years with Open House
The City of Alexandria invites the community to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Alexandria Health Department at an open house on Thursday, April 4, from 3 to 6 p.m., at the Health Department's main location (4480 King St.). This free public event will feature kiosks spotlighting each division, fire trucks, free giveaways and light refreshments. The community is invited take a tour of the Health Department's facilities, learn about services provided and meet the employees who make these services possible.

The Medical Reserve Corps is also offering a Psychological First Aid Training, which teaches participants how to cope with emergencies and learn how to prepare, respond to, and recover from trauma. To register for this training, email  or call 703.746.4978.

This year marks 100 years of the Health Department's service and dedication to the health and wellness of Alexandria residents. The Health Department provides essential public health services to Alexandrians, with a mission of "Healthier People, Healthier Communities."
Click here to view a PDF of this flyer in English.
Join SAPCA and ACAP at the 18th Annual Eggstravaganza
One of the most EGGciting Easter events in the area, this is a time for kids and families to come out and enjoy a fun-filled event. Come on out and enjoy the festivities with us!

What: Free Easter egg hunts, games, prizes, food, live music, a magic show and much more!
When: Saturday, April 13 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Where: Four Mile Run Park: 4109 Mount Vernon Avenue

For more information, visit
Click here to view a PDF of this flyer in English.
Breaks with Impact - Doing Good in the Neighborhood

Middle and high school students: do you want to spend one day in your community learning  more about the issues that face Alexandrians and how nonprofits address those issues? Consider participating in Breaks with Impact, a service learning program that allows students to become a catalyst for change. Sessions are being offered during spring and summer break. 

Spring sessions are being offered during the following dates:

Middle School Program: April 16, 2019
High School Program: April 18, 2019

To learn more about this program, click here or contact Myra Cruz at

Click here  to view a PDF of this fly er in E nglish.
  Click here  to view a PDF of this flyer in Spanish.  
Click here  t o view a PDF of this flyer.
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