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Grand Forks Public Health, school system receive funds to combat underage drinking

Federal monies, funneled through the state Department of Human Services, will be used to fund primary prevention strategies, said Sarah Shimek, character education and prevention coordinator for Grand Forks Public Schools.

Mark Sanford Center Grand Forks schools logo sign tower.jpg
The Mark Sanford Education Center, headquarters of Grand Forks Public Schools. (Grand Forks Herald photo)
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Grand Forks Public Health, in partnership with Grand Forks Public Schools, has received $62,500 from the state of North Dakota to combat underage drinking.

The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Division of Behavioral Health awarded the funds from the $750,000 it received through the federal 2021 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

The contract with Grand Forks Public Health will be carried out in three phases, according to a news release from Grand Forks Public Schools. The phases are assessment and planning Oct. 1-31; implementation, Nov. 1-July 31, 2022; and evaluation, Aug. 1-Sept. 30, 2022.

This effort is also funded in the states through the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program. The goals of the program are to increase capacity for sustaining prevention in the state’s public health and behavioral health systems and to make positive changes in priority areas.

“Being able to provide primary prevention strategies that specifically target underage drinking will allow us to continue to promote the healthy communities we want all of our children to thrive in,” said Sarah Shimek, character education and prevention coordinator at Grand Forks Public Schools.

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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