NEW ANTI-METH MONEY AVAILABLE FOR AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS
NASHVILLE - Governor Phil Bredesen today announced more help for local communities that are still battling the Methamphetamine problem. Tennessee's anti-Meth effort has received nearly $1 million in federal grants for after school programs to help kids develop anti-Meth messages to persuade their peers not to try Meth.
"Methamphetamine destroys everything it touches - lives, families, neighborhoods and communities - no one is safe from this plague," said Governor Phil Bredesen, who initiated the state's coordinated anti-Meth effort three years ago. "Education plays a critical role in preventing people from trying Meth, and these grants will be another tool communities can use to educate our kids about the consequences of Meth use. I'm proud to see our youth take a leading role."
Tennessee once ranked second in the nation in Meth lab incidents, with over 1,500 labs seized in 2004. Since the Meth Free Tennessee Act became law, the rate of Meth seizures has been reduced by over 54 percent. The Meth-Free Tennessee Act, one of the key recommendations of the Governor's Anti-Methamphetamine Task Force, removed Meth precursors from store shelves in the state. Tennessee is also the first state in the U.S. to host a statewide health education campaign designed to reduce and contain the demand for Meth through the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Governor Bredesen expanded on the education effort last year by partnering with the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference to launch the Meth Destroys effort (www.methfreeTN.org).
Because of the state's strong response to the Meth problem, the Tennessee Commission on National and Community Service (TCNCS), a partner in the state's coordinated effort, was awarded federal grants that will allow for 20-25 sub-grants of up to $10,000 a year each for the next three years. The Commission will award applicants from across the state, predominantly from two after school network programs (21st Century Community Learning Centers and Lottery Education After school Programs). Grant awards will be competitively selected by early fall according to criteria outlined on the Web at www.volunteertennessee.net. Applicants from across the state will be selected, with a special focus on areas with a high concentration of low-income residents. The grant money will cover anti-Meth communication products, supplies, training, transportation fees and other related program costs.
The TCNCS is the 25 member volunteer citizen board appointed by the Governor to oversee national service programs in the state, including AmeriCorps and service-learning. Service-learning combines academic, workskills and character education learning with hands on volunteer service. The Commission is an official anti-meth partner with Meth Destroys.