Holly Area Community Coalition Encourages Kids to Make Good Choices

Holly Area Community Coalition Keeping Kids Safe

(Nick Klempp, April 2, 2019)

Holly, MI –Check out our “Get Involved Guide” for more stories about local organizations. Thank you to Bosco Lounge for sponsoring this series.

The Holly Area Community Coalition, whose office is located in the Karl Richter building, has been servicing the community for 20 years and has been a big part of the Holly area in educating students about the dangers of drug and alcohol use, sponsoring community events and showing students what they need to be the most successful people they can be.

The mission of the HACC is to work in partnership with the community to empower youth to make positive life choices, thereby reducing the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs among area youth.

Nick Klempp, Program Coordinator for the Coalition, says “I always like to start by reminding everyone that, while we wish the percentage was at zero, MOST students chose to not get involved in unhealthy activity like drugs or alcohol. There is always the feeling that everyone is using something but in reality, most students stay away from unhealthy things and focus on positive events in their life.”

While that is true, the Coalition feels that continued education for students surrounding prevention is very important- Susan Papple, Project Director says “It is so important to keep doing what we do – educating youth about the risks of substance use – to keep the numbers low and keep as many youth as possible on a healthy path.”

The Coalition, which is a part of 19 other coalitions in Oakland County called The Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities, works in many different ways to show students more healthy choices in life, including positive character-building classes for all 4th-8th grade students in Holly, a Stay Above the Influence presentation to all 8th grade students, and an asset building class for 5th grade students.   “We like to do things in a fun way so it’s not just us standing up there speaking at them but we play games, have fun, and have the serious discussions, all while learning about what it means to make healthy choices” says Klempp.

The Coalition also sponsors a group at the Middle School called Students Taking A New Direction (STAND) and at the High School called The Youth Action Board (YAB) which focus on giving students a voice to tell their peers and community the importance of making healthy decisions and Staying Above the Influence.   The groups have designed billboards and filmed PSAs about healthy choices that have been up in the Holly area and played at the Trillium movie theater.

The Coalition has worked with the school and community in many ways to reduce youth substance use and continues to do that with the latest dangerous trend with student vaping.

The Coalition also sponsors several community events in the Holly area including The Summer Movie Nights in Battle Alley, The Teen Block Party, on the last day of school with the Holly DDA,  the Family Fun Color Run which has kicked off the Holly Days celebration for the last two years, the Family Fun Tailgate event at Holly High School before the elementary school night football game, The Holly Health Fair at Karl Richter, the Youth Champion’s dinner to celebrate those in the community who support youth making wise choices and the Community Prayer Breakfast on the National Day of Prayer.

The Coalition has several big events coming up including the launch of a new website, their Holly Health Fair on April 13th and The Teen Block Party on June 15th.   You can find more information at www.hollyareacommunitycoalition.com or on Facebook.

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