Pubdate: Wed, 04 Jun 2003
Source: Coronation Review (CN AB)
Copyright: 2003 Coronation Review.
Author: B.P. Schimke


In addition to schools, community agencies have also taken interest in 
building a safer community for our children and youth.

One such group is the Heartland Safe Community Coalition.

The Coalition originally started in Stettler when a number of agencies, 
with overlapping responsibility, decided there would be value in working 
together to meet community needs and avoid duplication of services.

These agencies initially were focussed on taking pro-active steps towards 
stopping the use of crystal meth on Highway 12 before crystal meth got 

The Steering Committee is comprised of the Executive Director, AADAC; 
Alberta Justice, Probation; the Superintendent, Clearview School Division; 
County Constable for the County of Stettler; Enerflex Ltd. (health & safety 
company); the Executive Director, FCSS; Q14 Radio; Staff Sergeant and 
Corporal from the RCMP, the Manager, Stettler Ambulance Society, the 
Manager, Stettler Health Centre and the Stettler Community Health Services.

In an interview with the Coalition Chair, Gayle Thoun, she advised that the 
Coalition's mission is to be a catalyst to bring about positive changes by 
identifying priorities and coordinating community services and responses.

To date, they have set three priorities: (1) substance abuse; (2) traffic 
safety; (3) disaster services coordination.

Substance Abuse

In the case of crystal meth, the Coalition was instrumental in getting 
Highway 12 students talking and learning about the downside of this highly 
dangerous drug, long before many were ever physically introduced to it.

They feel that this proactive approach is so much more effective than 
reacting after the problem is out of control.

The substance abuse task force, in addition to crystal meth, is working 
long-term on a community-based program for developmental asset building in 
young people.

Children and youth that succeed have specific developmental assets in their 
lives (not financial), that help them grow and develop in a healthy manner.

The YMCA has developed 40 external and internal assets. Some examples of 
external assets are social supports, identity with community, boundaries 
and expectations.

Some examples of internal assets are commitment to learning, positive 
values, and positive self-esteem.

Issues such as bullying and substance abuse tend to be reduced with the 
greater number of developmental assets in the individual's life.

This group is chaired by Mr. Lance Penny from AADAC, and he can be reached 
at (403) 472-7523.

Traffic Safety

The Traffic Safety Task Force, chaired by Gayle Thoun who can be reached at 
(403) 740-8104, works to raise awareness of traffic safety among our youth.

Other agencies/businesses working with this task force are: Wm. E. Hay High 
School; S.A.D.D.; Stettler Towing; Alberta Transportation; Inspection 
Services; AADAC; Community Health Services and the RCMP.

Injuries and injury-related deaths are NOT "accidents"; nine out of ten are 
predictable and preventable.

Earlier this year, a group of youth representing communities along Highway 
12 met at Circle Square Ranch to talk and learn more about traffic safety.

They came away from the weekend with a group called ATAC, "Alberta Teens 
Against Collisions".

High School students in Coronation, and other Highway 12 schools have been 
working on projects to this end, and they will be holding a public 
information session on June 12 from 5-8 p.m. at the Lion's Recreation 
Centre in Coronation.

Don't miss this opportunity to see what our young adults are doing to save 
lives and limb. Let's support our youth as they work to get informed and 
make healthy choices in their future.

Disaster Services Planning/Coordination The third priority, Disaster 
Services Planning / Coordination is being coordinated by Mr. Bruce 
McKenzie, County of Stettler (403) 742-4441.

If you are interested in getting more information, take time to talk to a 
Coalition agency partner.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens