Press Release

Press Release AG Healey, GE Foundation Unveil New Online App, Announce $450,000 to Middle Schools for Substance Use Prevention Education

Part of $2 Million Public-Private Partnership to Tackle Unmet Need for and Expand Access to Youth Prevention Education
For immediate release:
9/17/2018
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact for AG Healey, GE Foundation Unveil New Online App, Announce $450,000 to Middle Schools for Substance Use Prevention Education

Alex Bradley

BostonAttorney General Maura Healey and the GE Foundation today unveiled a first-of-its-kind web-based education app and announced nearly $450,000 in grants to public middle schools as part of Project Here, a $2 million public-private collaboration to make substance use prevention education available to all public middle schools in Massachusetts. Project Here was designed to tackle a significant unmet need in the state’s battle against the ongoing opioid crisis.

“We know that to end the opioid epidemic, we need to stop substance use before it starts,” said AG Healey. “Project Here was designed to address an unmet need for substance use prevention education in our schools. This new app and grant funding will help empower students to make the right decisions, promote health and wellness, and lead change in their schools and communities. We encourage every school to sign up for Project Here to access these free resources for students.”

“Project Here is a great example of a public-private collaboration that is making real progress in helping students make healthy decisions,” said Ann R. Klee, President, GE Foundation. “Project Here Games is connecting with kids in innovative ways by bringing gamification to the fight against substance use and the opioid crisis.”

Project Here was announced along with The Herren Project, Epicenter Experience and Health Resources in Action in May 2017. Project Here promotes social emotional learning and empowers students to make healthy decisions through an innovative combination of curricula, digital content, and support for educators and students.

“Project Here provides prevention education materials to students in multiple formats to identify positive ways to deal with stress, social pressures and encourage teens to embrace who they are,” stated Chris Herren, founder of the Herren Project. “We need to educate students about the first day of the disease of addiction and Project Here does just that, meeting the students where they are and providing them with valuable resources to help them navigate their journey.”

At an event today, AG Healey and Ann R. Klee, President of the GE Foundation and Vice President of GE’s Boston Development & Operations, unveiled Project Here Games, which is available now for middle school students to practice healthy decision-making skills for substance use prevention.

Project Here Games, developed for Project Here by FableVision Studios, provides an innovative and engaging digital experience to teach students about healthy choices, peer pressure, substance use and coping with stress. Through games, quizzes, and scenarios, students gain practical skills to navigate challenging situations and make healthy decisions now and for the future. Project Here Games is available for free on computers, tablets, and smart phones and has the flexibility to be used by teachers as an in-classroom activity or by students outside of school.

Today, AG Healey also announced that nearly $450,000 has been awarded to 109 schools through the Project Here Substance Use Prevention Curriculum Grant to implement evidence-based substance use prevention curricula over a two-year period, starting this school year. The funding has been awarded to individual schools, school districts, and educational collaboratives across 38 Massachusetts cities and towns and will reach tens of thousands of students. Awardees will use the funding to implement one of three evidence-based prevention curricula that are proven to positively impact students’ behavior. Awardees selected among these curricula to best meet their school and community needs.

Project Here also provides every public middle school with access to a free Online Toolkit offering more than 50 resources for teachers to educate students about opioids, vaping, and other substances, as well as skills needed to make healthy decisions such as coping and communications skills. The Toolkit provides students with the opportunity to connect to a support network of licensed social workers at The Herren Project. To date, more than 250 schools have registered for and are accessing the Project Here Online Toolkit.

Young people are particularly vulnerable to the risks of substance use. Ninety percent of all adults struggling with addiction started using when they were under the age of 18, and 50 percent were under the age of 15. Studies have shown that effective substance use education and prevention programming can significantly decrease the risk of substance use among young people.

People can learn more information and schools can register for Project Here, which provides access to the Online Toolkit and support for Project Here Games, at www.here.world. Project Here Games is available at www.projectheregames.org

View the Project Here Games trailer here.

Grant Recipients

Atlantis Charter District

Attleboro Public Schools

Bellingam Public Schools

Billerica Public Schools

Brookline Public Schools

East Bridgewater Public Schools

Easthampton Public Schools

Everett Public Schools

Gardner Pilot Academy

Granby Public Schools

Greenfield Public Schools

Longmeadow Public Schools

Malden Public Schools

Marshall Simonds Middle School

Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools

Medford Public Schools

Medway Public Schools

Methuen Public Schools

Millbury Public Schools

Millis Middle School

Nauset Regional Middle School

Norwell Middle School

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter

SEEM Collaborative

Springfield Public Schools

Tantasqua Regional Junior High School

The Advanced Math & Science Academy

Tyngsborough Middle School

Van Sickle Academy

Wakefield Public Schools

West Bridgewater Middle Senior High School

Weymouth Public Schools

Winthrop Middle School

Worcester Public Schools

 

 

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Media Contact for AG Healey, GE Foundation Unveil New Online App, Announce $450,000 to Middle Schools for Substance Use Prevention Education

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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