August 8, 2018

EDC Tapped to Help Combat Substance Misuse in Indianapolis Schools

WALTHAM, MASS | Education Development Center (EDC) has been selected by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation to help implement a new substance use prevention initiative in public and accredited private K–12 schools across Marion County, Indiana. Prevention Matters is a three-year grant initiative launched by the Foundation in 2018 to help Marion County schools identify, implement, and sustain proven substance use prevention programs.

As part of its $10.2 million commitment to Prevention Matters, the Fairbanks Foundation has awarded EDC $500,000 to work with 24 Prevention Matters grantees—public and private elementary, middle, and high schools across the city of Indianapolis —to develop plans for implementation and provide ongoing support over the next three years as those plans are executed. The program will reach an anticipated 71,000 children and teenagers, or about 44 percent of all Marion County students, by the 2020-2021 school year.

Beginning this month, EDC will work with the grantees to design approaches that districts and schools can use to (1) create a three-year plan for effective implementation, (2) assess the effectiveness of programs based on outcomes important to the schools, and (3) sustain those programs after grant funding runs out. EDC also participated in the initiative’s data analysis and planning phase earlier this year.

“We’ve done extensive planning to help each school select a program based on their specific academic and behavioral needs,” said EDC’s Chuck Klevgaard. “Taking a comprehensive approach early in school has the potential to prevent substance use in later grades and beyond. When a program can be woven into the fabric of the school’s mission and sustained over time, it will provide the best outcomes for students.”

A Fairbanks Foundation survey of Marion County Schools revealed “high” to “extremely high” concern over substance use, particularly use among high school students. Substances of greatest concern were marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription opioids. However, only 11 percent of these schools were implementing an evidence-based substance use prevention program.

EDC brings to the project its expertise in the science of effective implementation and its deep experience providing technical assistance to schools and implementing school-based programming. Learn more about EDC’s work in substance misuse prevention and treatment.

Education Development Center (EDC) is a global nonprofit that advances lasting solutions to improve education, promote health, and expand economic opportunity. Since 1958, we have been a leader in designing, implementing, and evaluating powerful and innovative programs in more than 80 countries around the world.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation strives to advance the vitality of Indianapolis and the well-being of its people by addressing the city’s most significant challenges and opportunities. The Foundation is focused on three issue-areas: education, tobacco and opioid addiction, and the life-sciences. To advance its work, the Foundation implements a three-pronged approach: strategic grantmaking, evidence-based advocacy, and cross-sector collaborations and convenings.