Ohio Valley University, Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg team with anti-drug initiative

Photo Provided Ben Shuman, Parkersburg Boys and Girls Club executive director, left, Boys and Girls Club board member Dave Lewis, center, and Rotary’s Drug Free Clubs of America coordinator Bob Newell, right, announced a partnership Friday between the Boys and Girls Club, Ohio Valley University and Drug Free Schools of America.

PARKERSBURG–Ohio Valley University and the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg are the latest organizations to team up with the Parkersburg Rotary Club and Drug Free Schools of America.

Officials announced Friday that OVU will provide $1,000 scholarship vouchers to students who plan to attend the university and enroll in the Drug Free Clubs of America program.

“We applaud Dr. Howard Shank and Ohio Valley University in getting behind this effort,” said Rotary’s DFCA coordinator Bob Newell. “We also thank the Boys and Girls Club for endorsing this program. Ben Shuman, the club’s executive director, has made it possible to provide free memberships to the youth who participate in DFCA.”

Newell said Dec. 6 is the last enrollment date for area students before the program moves to the next phase.

Established in Cincinnati in 2005, Drug Free Clubs of America is a voluntary program in which high school students with parental permission submit to voluntary drug testing.

Both Parkersburg South High School and Parkersburg High School students are participating in Drug Free Clubs of America with Rotary’s coordination. In all, nine high schools in West Virginia are participating in DFCA.

Locally, the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Foundation and the PHS Foundation have joined the effort. The WVU-P Foundation has established a scholarship for high school graduates who have successfully completed two years in their high school Drug Free programs. Last month, the PHS Foundation provided funds to Rotary to help offset 40 student participation fees.

Drug Free Clubs of America is designed as a “full circle” approach to drug prevention. The strategy surrounds every different type of student with protection throughout their day. On test day, students are often surprised to learn that their membership in DFCA is something they now have in common with others to which they never felt similar. By bringing together school, parent, and community efforts, members benefit from an overall positive sense of belonging regardless if they are at school, at home, or out enjoying their community.

Any interested businesses should contact Newell at bobnewell1@outlook.com.

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