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NYS OASAS Awards $165,000 to Diocese of Albany Elementary Schools to Support Addiction Prevention Programs



The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) has awarded the Albany Diocesan School Board, on behalf of its Catholic elementary schools, $165,000 to implement addiction prevention programs in five Catholic elementary schools in Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Ballston Spa and Glen Falls.

The funds will be used to implement the PAX Good Behavior Game Program, a powerful evidence-based practice that provides students with the skills necessary for self-regulation and co-regulation with peers, which has shown to reduce aggression and disruptive behavior, both of which are risk factors for adolescent and adult illicit drug use. PAX has shown to provide numerous short-term and lifetime benefits such as improving classroom performance, mental health outcomes and substance use prevention. Specifically, students in PAX classrooms have demonstrated decreased tobacco use, reduced alcohol use, decreased illicit drug use (including opioid abuse), and a lower level of overall services needed for substance abuse and/or psychiatric disorders.

“We are keenly aware of the national rise in risk factors associated with addiction among young people,” said Giovanni Virgiglio, Diocesan Chancellor and Superintendent of Schools. Our Catholic schools educate the whole child – mind, body, and spirit. Prevention programs such as PAX, which is Latin for “peace”, equip our students with lifelong tools to support their overall health and well-being starting at a young age. As one of only eleven providers chosen statewide, we are grateful to the New York State Office of Addiction and Substance Abuse Services for the trust they have placed in us to carry forth these critical services in our Catholic schools.”

The PAX initiative will be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year in 25 classrooms serving kindergarten through fourth grade at Blessed Sacrament School in Albany, Sacred Heart School in Troy, St. Kateri Tekakwitha School in Schenectady, St. Mary’s School in Ballston Spa, and St. Mary’s/St. Alphonsus School in Glens Falls. School communities were selected based on a specific set of criteria and namely in counties that are presently underserved or not receiving any related prevention services.

More information about the PAX Good Behavior Game can be found at the following link: https://www.goodbehaviorgame.org/.

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