On July 24, the NCADD Hudson, a non-profit organization based in Jersey City, presented the town with its Annual Education Award for their work with better education of substance abuse.
"They have been very prevention minded as a town," said Executive Director on NCADD Hudson Marion Fritsch.
NCADD Hudson provides municipalities and other organizations with programs that teach the ill effects of drugs, alcohol and other substances.
West New York has utilized NCADD Hudson's puppet show program, Basic Alcohol Education Studies, in their grammar schools, and has used the organization's conflict resolution programs in the elementary schools and Memorial High School.
West New York's senior citizens have benefited from the Older but Wiser program, which warns seniors against sharing medications and mixing alcohol with medications.
On their own
While West New York Mayor Albio Sires said that the town's alliance mostly goes along with the recommendations of the council, West New York has taken a few initiatives of its own.
"We always try anything to make children aware of how dangerous substance abuse is," said Sires.
The town's Police Department helps in the education process with their Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. This 17-week program is incorporated into the schools' fifth grade health education program. However, the town's children are also helping to spread the word around the community.
The town's local chapter of REBEL (Reaching Everybody By Exposing Lies), a teen anti-smoking group, was able to team up with the West New York Youth Football League to pass their message on to other children in their town.
REBEL is a statewide youth initiative started in November 2000 against tobacco companies. REBEL is sponsored locally by each county's chapter of Communities Against Tobacco The program works with seventh and eighth grade students with the hope that the eighth grade members will take REBEL into the high schools with them.
After joining the Youth Football League this past winter, REBEL was able to hang banners during the football games that read "This is a smoke free game."
The Board of Commissioners has taken this initiative one step further.
Earlier this year, Sires and the town's Board of Commissioners passed a resolution prohibiting smoking in Miller Stadium. This was proposed by the West New York's REBEL chapter.
NCADD Hudson also sponsors healthy family programs within housing developments. Currently these programs are being utilized within the Union City and Jersey City Housing Authorities.