As CHILL members, we desire to make postive choices in our own lives, realizing that the underage use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can impair us from reaching our goals in life. In addition, we care about the health and safety of our peers and want to communicate to our community the issues concerning youth.
-Adopted in Fall of 2002
Who We Are and Why CHILL is Important
CHILL “Communities Helping Improve Local Lives” Youth Task Force of Martinsville and Henry County, Virginia, is a “grassroots” youth movement started in 2002. Our local CHILL members represent all four of the public and private high schools in the local area: Bassett, Carlisle, Magna Vista and Martinsville.
CHILL members meet together-monthly during the school year. They hang out, have pizza and plan exciting events, such as the annual youth rally or media campaigns.
School CHILL coordinators guide CHILL clubs in each school. Clubs meet to plan events and activities for that school, like national Red Ribbon Week, celebrating a drug-free-life.
Before CHILL, youth felt…
- Nothing to do
- I can’t change negative influences
- My community doesn’t care about me
- Adults think youth are careless and lazy
- Alcohol and tobacco are easy to get
Statistics showed: Higher than national alcohol, tobacco and other drug use (according to local PRIDE surveys)
Since CHILL in 2002, over 900 high school students have been trained to and had the opportunity to:
- Provide drug free activities & events for youth
- Find value in making positive choices
- Feel connected to and valued by their community
- Help lower alcohol, tobacco and other drug use
- Show adults that “youth can be wise”!
- To become “Change Agents”
Why is CHILL Important?
CHILL and JV CHILL members give us
- Role models for peers and younger youth
- Substance abuse prevention education
- Positive ways to improve the community
- Greater attachment to the community
- Better prepared youth for work world
NOTE: Every $1 spent on substance abuse prevention saves from $2.00 to $20.0
Benefits to CHILL and JV CHILL members:
- Provides a forum of like minded youth that support positive life choices for themselves and others
- Promotes a sense of belonging
- Provides education about the risks of ATOD
- Encourage empowerment through civic engagement and leadership roles within the community
CHILL was formed in the spring of 2002. Four 3-day trainings were held at Patrick Henry Community College in the summer of 2002 for 47 area youth. The trainings, conducted by the Prevention team of Piedmont Community Services, included such topics as trust and team building, decision making, media influence and the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Also in 2001, the Youth Interagency Network (YIN), a coalition consisting of representatives from youth-serving organizations from Martinsville and Henry County, adopted the Right Choices for Youth Initiative (RCFY). This is a positive, community-wide approach that provides family and community support necessary for youth to realize their life potential by establishing a clear avoidance message regarding alcohol, drugs, sex, tobacco, and violence. Through this initiative, YIN gave CHILL the seed money to start their substance abuse activities. The Governor’s Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (GOSAP) received a $9 million State Incentive Grant (SIG) in October 2000. One of the main goals of the SIG project is to reduce substance abuse among 12-17 year olds by infusing science-based prevention practice throughout the state. Piedmont Community Services was a recipient for one of twenty state grants. In 2001, two science-based programs were selected for the Martinsville-Henry County area to target underage drinking and smoking: Communities Mobilizing on a Change on Alcohol (CMCA) and Life Skills. An adult task force and a youth task force were formed under the CMCA program to help mobilize our community on the issue underage drinking and smoking, as well as other youth issues.
HEY! Helping Empower Youth Community Task Force, also started in 2002, and took as supporting role for CHILL in “empowering” youth to make healthy choices and become an advocate for healthy behaviors and strong family connections. This group of adults who now called Drug Free MHC, represents all areas of our community: parents, educators, medical, faith, law enforcement, etc.
Would you like to become a CHILL Sponsor to help keep CHILL for our youth?
CHILL offers several different sponsorship levels for foundations, companies, and small businesses
Sponsorship information is available by contacting:
Katie Connelly, CHILL Coordinator Martinsville/Henry County
firstname.lastname@example.org or 276-340-9186