Helping Services for Northeast Iowa and the Dubuque Racing Association (DRA) care about the safety and well-being of the youth in Dubuque County.   Helping Services received a generous donation from the DRA which enabled them to purchase Life Skills workbooks for the Dubuque Community School District.  Last year Life Skills, a substance abuse prevention program, was provided to 728 students in 34 third-grade classrooms in the Dubuque Community School District.   “I love going into the classrooms and watching the third graders’ eyes light up as they learn new skills”, says Geri Buelow, Prevention Specialist with Helping Services.  “These are life-long skills that will support them as they reach the teen years and beyond”. 

Third grade is selected to present this series as a true prevention measure, before most youth are experimenting with alcohol or other drugs.  Many youth in the county begin experimenting with alcohol by the age of 11 or 12. 

Third Grade teachers at Eisenhower Elementary School state, “The Life Skills program that Mrs. Buelow presents is full of essential information that keeps the students engaged while building their self esteem. They learn the skills to make good decisions and resist peer pressure, advertising, drugs, and tobacco. As teachers, we feel that all students benefit from her excellent delivery and the content of this program.” 

Life Skills is a researched-based program which has proven to be effective in reducing tobacco, alcohol, drug abuse and violence.   Through this eight-week program, youth are provided with the skills they need to resist peer and media pressure to use drugs. It also provides them with the skills they will need to deal with the challenges of life as an adolescent.  

This program was also made possible by donations from the City of Dubuque, Black Hills Energy, Dubuque Community School District and by the Comprehensive Substance Abuse Prevention Grant from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Helping Services for Northeast Iowa is a not-for-profit agency that promotes the health and well-being of children and adults living in our service area. The agency focuses resources on substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse prevention. Staff provide presentations, research-based programs, mentoring coordination, trainings and advocacy.  Helping Services works with community members to help create environments that are safe, nurturing and healthy.

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