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Prevention Glow Dance

Hosted by: DeKalb Prevention Coalition

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

Our coalition held a Communities Talk prevention community teen dance for DeKalb County. The Prevention Glow Dance occurred during school hours after lunch. We partnered with the school to make the dance convenient for families and students. We designed a prevention dance flyer with information that was sent to parents and youth in the school system email list, and youth and staff made morning announcements on the high school PA system the week before and the week of the event. We shared information after the prevention dance with our local radio station, WJLE, as well as in the local newspaper and on social media. We provided prevention and educational materials to all the students during the event. A community partner spoke about his personal recovery and how he was a student at the same middle school. Students from each grade listened to the guest speaker and then had an hour for the Prevention Glow Dance. The dance took place in the gym. We had neon lights that illuminated the dance area and added neon sparkles on the way. We  partnered with our school health coordinator to provide water and healthy snacks for the students. Approximately 700 students attended the prevention dance, which was a hit among our students and school staff. Everyone enjoyed this healthy activity to show students they can have fun without alcohol and drugs.

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How does alcohol and other drug misuse affect your community?

Neon lights in gym with people dancing

The mission of the DeKalb County coalition is to unite community leaders and citizens of the county to form strong partnerships across major community sectors with the goal of reducing substance abuse. According to the Tennessee Together Student Survey, which measures substance use in the 30 days prior to the survey administration, past-month use among youth included:

·         1 in 61 youth misused prescription drugs in the past month

·         5% of students reported smoking part or all of a cigarette in the past month

·         7% of students reported drinking alcohol in the past month

·         6% of students reported smoking marijuana in the past month

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Which prevention strategy(ies), as defined by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, best fit your Communities Talk activity?

  • Alternative Strategy – focuses on redirecting individuals from potentially problematic situations and AOD use by providing constructive and healthy events/activities.
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What goal(s) did you hope to accomplish with your Communities Talk activity?

  • Hold meetings or discussion groups on alcohol and/or other drug misuse prevention.
  • Build coalitions with other agencies or programs to reduce and prevent alcohol and/or other drug misuse.
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Did you accomplish your goal(s)?


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What challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?

  • Unforeseen difficulties when planning our activity

We live in a rural area and did not want parents to be unable to bring their children due to transportation issues or “not having the right outfit for the dance.” Therefore, we planned this prevention activity during school hours. 

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How did you overcome these challenges?

A second challenge that we faced was on the day of the dance. A threat was called into the school that morning, and the school was placed on lockdown. But, with the help of local law enforcement being present outside of the school, we were able to go on as planned with the school dance during school hours. The response by school staff and local law enforcement was fast and flawless to make the prevention dance still run smoothly. The students were still able to enjoy the guest speaker and the prevention glow dance without being aware of the issues outside the school gym.

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What are your next steps?

dj and participants dancing
  • Create a public education campaign to raise awareness and/or change behaviors around underage drinking (i.e., create PSAs and other promotional materials)
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Organizations that conduct Communities Talk activities often involve other organizations in the planning and execution of events. Please indicate which type(s) of organizations you involved in your activity planning.

  • Law enforcement
  • Youth-led organizations
  • Secondary schools
  • Local businesses
  • State and local government agencies (e.g., public health departments)
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Which of the following best describes the primary audience(s) for your Communities Talk activity?

  • Youth
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How did you reach and engage your primary audience(s) to encourage them to participate in your activity?

We held this event during school hours. We partnered with the school staff, principal, and counseling center to coordinate so that all students would be able to attend the prevention dance with no worries about transportation or other concerns. The students loved the event, and so did the staff. This would not have been possible without the wonderful school staff we have in our county.

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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

event organizers
  • Prevention-related webinars
  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk toolkits
  • Communities Talk social media content (e.g., Facebook, Twitter)

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