May 2020
SAPCA Celebrates National Prevention Week

In honor of National Prevention Week (NPW), SAPCA worked together with community members across the country to raise awareness of the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health.  SAPCA promoted the event daily on their website, Facbook, and Twitter, as well as through  daily posts for teens on Alexandria Teen Life's  Instagram  and  Twitter , platforms that provide information and resources to teens as part of a collaboration between the City's Youth Development Team and the Sexual Assault Center.

Each day of NPW focused on a different theme, including preventing prescription drug and opioid misuse, preventing underage drinking and alcohol misuse, preventing illicit drug use and youth marijuana use, preventing youth tobacco use and preventing suicide. 

Prevention actions can range from virtual events and promotion of substance misuse awareness or information, to family conversations and activities that model healthy coping practices like exercise, mindfulness and self-care.

For more information about National Prevention Week, click here.
October 2019: Youth place stickers on multi-packs of alcohol as part of Project Sticker Shock
Virginia ABC Awards Grant to SAPCA

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (Virginia ABC) recently awarded SAPCA with a $10,000 grant to continue its underage drinking and high-risk alcohol use prevention work. This funding will help SAPCA :
  • Hold Project Sticker Shock, an annual youth-led community awareness initiative designed to educate adults who might purchase alcohol legally and provide it to minors
  • Provide information about Virginia's Social Host law by continuing to promote the "Parents Who Host, Lose the Most" campaign
  • Deliver presentations that share the facts and consequences of substance use and abuse
  • Celebrate Red Ribbon Week
    August 2019: Over 30 youth attended the 2019 Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference.
  • Facilitate supportive relationships between youth and caring adults
  • Host activities that provide constructive use of time for youth, including Titan Takeover Teen Nights and the Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference
Thank you to our grant partners for your support and collaboration to make these initiatives possible!
  • City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities
  • Alexandria Police Department
  • Alexandria Sheriff's Office
  • Alexandria City Public Schools
  • Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy
  • City of Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services
Get Involved In Vaping Work Group Prevention Activities

This month, the Vaping Work Group met to discuss successes from the 2019-2020 school year and to plan ahead for the coming year. Check out one opportunity to support ongoing efforts to prevent and reduce youth vaping below:

Vaping Video Project
  • Youth interested in helping with this project should record videos of themselves answering the following prompts:
    • I don't vape because... (STATE 3 REASONS)
    • I stay healthy by... (STATE 3 WAYS)
  • Send videos to Rashad Price at or 571.414.1874 on or before June 12, 2020.
  • Adults - please share this "ask" with teens in your networks and ask your colleagues to do the same.
Interested in getting involved with the vaping work group? Contact Emma Beall at
Application Live for ACPS School Board Student Representative

Each year, rising juniors and seniors may apply to serve an annual term as an ACPS School Board Student Representative from July through the following June. Representatives that serve during their junior year may reapply for a second term.  To apply for the following school year, you must be a sophomore or junior at T.C. Williams High School.  Applications are due June 1, 2020.

Student representatives sit at the dais during Board Meetings and present a report on behalf of all the students in the Division. They may participate fully in agenda item discussion, however, the Student Representatives do not vote on any issues. Student Representatives may choose to attend and participate in School Board Work Sessions or Special Called School Board Meetings. Click here for more information.
Imagine Your Story This Summer at Alexandria Library

While Alexandria Library branches may still be closed, SummerQuest is launching online! Children, teens, and adults can sign up for Summer Reading through Beanstack starting on Tuesday, May 26 and begin logging books and minutes toward earning fabulous prizes.    
Research shows that the summer learning slide can be avoided by engaging children and teens in reading and other enrichment 
programs.  SummerQuest  - the Library's summer reading program for newborns through 12th grade - is a great way to keep children learning over the summer months.  

From June through August, visit your Alexandria Library's Virtual Branch
 for music, magic, storytelling, reading, nature shows, hands-on activities and more! Most programs do not require registration to attend. Scheduled events for this year's SummerQuest programs are  listed here . 

Also, make sure you check out the  Adult Summer Reading program and  Book Trailer Contest ! 
Celebrate Alexandria Pride

June is LGBTQ Pride Month. We can't gather in person, so we are gathering online June 4-6 to Celebrate Alexandria Pride! Join us for workshops like "Gender and Sexuality Spectrums: What are they and how do they affect youth relationships?" and "Shake Your Groove Thang!" Check out all 12 workshops and register at .
Light Up Alexandria & Celebrate Graduates

On Saturday, June 13, 2020, ACPS encourages all residents of the City of Alexandria to light up their homes in red, white and blue to support the graduating Class of 2020 from T.C. Williams High School. The George Washington Masonic Temple will be illuminated in red, white and blue on June 13 in recognition of our graduates. Let's light up the whole city! Do your part, as best you can, to light up your home in red, white and blue to honor our graduates! And don't forget to share your pictures with ACPS via @ACPSk12 on Twitter using #TCW2020, or via the ACPS Facebook page.
ACPS Releases Draft 2025 Strategic Plan - Seeks Feedback

In April 2019, ACPS began to look at its priorities for the next five years. After a year of assessing data, analyzing priorities and assessing the future, a draft plan was released that provides a roadmap for the next five years. The 2025 Strategic Plan - Equity for All 2025 - aims to tackle equity issues head-on.  The plan's vision is: Empowering all students to thrive in a diverse and ever-changing world. 

Developing a successful strategic plan takes community involvement and ACPS is seeking public comments on this draft of the plan. 

T o view the draft plan, click here.

To provide plan feedback, click here.

Free Mental Health Screening 

Many people are newly fighting anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions. Those with pre-existing conditions may be doubly challenged. The Department of Community and Human Services offers access to free anonymous mental health screening, as well as a variety of wellness resources. No one should suffer alone; treatment works.

Visit  for more information.
Safe Place Spotlight

What is Safe Place?
  • A community program in which a local agency hosts a network of locations where youth in crisis can get immediate help
  • 24-hour access to immediate help and support for all young people in crisis
  • A network of sites and resources sustained by qualified agencies, trained volunteers and businesses
  • A Safety Net for youth that focuses on Intervention and Prevention

How Can a "Safe Place Location" be Recognized?

  • Bright yellow and black diamond-shaped signs or decals 
  • Every official Safe Place will have this sign attached to the outside of each location

How Does Safe Place Work for a Youth Seeking Help?

  • A youth in crisis enters a location displaying a Safe Place sign and verbally or non-verbally seeks help
  • The youth will wait in a quiet comfortable place while the site Safe Place Manager or the Alexandria Safe Place office is called
  • The assigned responder will take over and assess the youth to determine the next step
  • If necessary, the youth is transported to a youth service agency
  • Counseling and shelter services are arranged, if needed
Click here to view all Safe Place Locations in the City of Alexandria.

For more information about Safe Place, click here.
Online Safety Resources

Our children and young people are spending longer  than normal periods of time online  due to the stay at home orders and virtual learning environments. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has free online safety materials for children and parents available on their website. All materials are designed to give adults the tools to engage with the children in their lives about how to stay safe online, including blog posts and COVID-19 #RealTips for suggested  online safety rules with children while at home. 
Free Online Training To Keep Kids Safe

The Courage to Speak Foundation has adapted the live Courage to Speak - Courageous Parenting 101 "Parenting Through the Opioid Crisis and Beyond" program into a FREE online training program. Accessible from anywhere at any time, parents will have the ability to login to the platform and complete a skills-based training on their own schedule. Through video lessons, informative presentations, handouts and interactive activities, parents learn the knowledge and skills they need to keep their children safe from drug use. To access the Free Online Parent Drug Prevention Training, click here.
Ideas for Socially Distant Summer Fun For Teens

There is still a great deal of uncertainty, and differing opinions on how best to move forward, taking into account the physical and mental health wellness of ourselves, our children, and extended family members. However, there is no question that teens want and need social interaction, whether that means virtual hangouts with family and friends or getting together while staying six feet apart. Check out these ideas for summer activities for teens shared by Prevention Action Alliance :
  • Take a hike, bike ride, or walk together - just maintain distance
  • Play cornhole, frisbee golf, or putt-putt with a friend 
  • Hammocking is a big trend among teens. They can still hang out and hammock in the same area together, just make sure it's one person to a hammock
  • Grab a pole and go fishing with a friend
  • Try canoeing, kayaking, or paddle boarding (always with another person)
  • Set up an inexpensive kiddie pool in the backyard for each friend invited, and have guests bring over their own popsicle and lemonade
  • Go skateboarding, go-karting, or paintballing
  • Start a weekly running club 
  • B-Y-O-B - Bring Your Own Basketball and play H-O-R-S-E or 21-apart, but together
  • Volunteer with a friend - do some yard work or go shopping for an elderly neighbor 
  • Meet up with friends for a picnic at the park - just bring your own blanket and food
  • Plant a backyard garden or build garden boxes - nurture, and watch your plants grow
  • Try geocaching: follow GPS coordinates to find treasures near you
  • Create a scavenger hunt and invite friends to join - check out Google for endless ideas
  • Come up with Amazing Race-type challenges
  • Invite surrounding backyard neighbors to a socially distant, outdoor movie night 
  • Fire pit and smores with seats spaced out
  • Go old school with traditional yard games like horseshoes, badminton, or croquet - just use separate mallets, racquets, and horseshoes
  • Get creative by painting, pressing flowers, or sculpting with clay
  • Find a good-old-fashioned pen pal 
  • Try creating an "Ongoing Story" with friends - get an inexpensive journal, write how much or little you want to get the story started, then leave it on a friend's doorstep with instructions to keep it going (and on and on). Or, go virtual and tell the story in an online format 
  • Have an online cupcake decorating contest - post photos and ask for votes 
  • Create fun TikTok videos
  • While in-person escape rooms may be temporarily closed, virtual escape rooms like Hogwarts Digital Escape Room and Jumanji: Escape to Camp just might be calling your name
Looking for more ideas? Consider starting a conversation with your teen to brainstorm safe and fun activities together!
City Resources: Food, Coping, Jobs, Healthcare and More
  • Read about new resources related to food, coping, jobs, healthcare and more by clicking here.
  • As programs and services have moved to Assistance from a Distance, Department of Community and Human Services staff have adapted and even increased service options in a wide variety of ways. Learn more by clicking here.
  • For additional information about COVID-19, visit
Check out the City of Alexandria webpage  Coping with COVID-19 Fear and Uncertainty,  which includes the  COVID-19 Wellness Resource Guide.
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