Mayor Samson D. Steinman was the featured speaker at the recent re-launch of the Rahway Prevention Coalition at the Rahway Public Library.
Joining the mayor was a diverse audience of city residents, community leaders, professionals and elected officials who came together to learn about the coalition and its work to reduce substance use among Rahway youth.
Late last year, Rahway was awarded a 2014 Drug Free Communities Support Grant providing funding for community-based coalitions to organize in an effort to prevent youth substance use.
An extension of the Rahway Municipal Alliance which has been in existence for more than 20 years, the coalition will receive $125,000 annually for the next five years through the Drug Free Communities grant which falls under the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Recent evaluation data indicate that where Drug Free Communities funds are invested, youth substance use is lower.
The long-range objectives of the program call for a measurable decrease in substance use by changing the youth culture to one that does not promote or accept alcohol and marijuana use. The coalition will have the option to apply for an additional five years of funding.
The coalition launch included the debut of its logo designed by Rahway High School art students, recognition of community leaders positively impacting the Rahway community and an informational portion that allowed the speakers to go in further detail about the Strategic Prevention Framework that will guide the effort.
“The focus of this grant is bringing people from different walks of life, different organizations, different racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, working together as one,” Steinman said.
Membership is open to all who would like to participate. The next Rahway Prevention Coalition meeting is scheduled for April 28.