Two Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control programs teaching students about drug and alcohol safety are back in schools this month.
The fourth annual Being Outstanding Leaders Together Against Drugs and Alcohol program will be March 25 at Lafayette High School.
The event is free. It's open to middle school students in Williamsburg, Newport News, West Point and James City, York, New Kent and Surry counties.
"Middle school is a time when many students are exposed to alcohol and drugs for the first time," said ABC Education and Prevention Manager Katie Weaks. "BOLT allows us to reach this critical age group and equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy life choices."
The program's objectives include understanding the effects of drugs and alcohol and the substances' role in affecting relationships, suicide and interpersonal violence.
Another ABC program, the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project is aimed at peer leadership at the high school level.
The year-long program includes a summer conference with workshops and guest speakers. Students also develop prevention plans which they implement the following school year.
The 2017 conference is July 17-21 at Longwood University.
Teams are made up of four teens from high schools or community organizations and must have at least one adult sponsor.
Registration is $300 for the team — or $60 per person including adult sponsors — until April 30. After that it increases to $400. The fee includes meals, lodging and materials for the conference.
To fund their prevention plans, teams are eligible to win a $250 grant and a $500 Wheeler Award. Lafayette High School's team won the Wheeler award in 2016.
Williams can be reached by phone at 757-345-2341.
BOLT event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 25 at Lafayette High School.
To register for BOLT, go to surveymonkey.com/r/7PN59ZB. For more information contact Jamie Plecker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project, visit www.yadapp.com.