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Governor McDonnell Announces SAVVY Schools and Communities Recognition Program


Location: Richmond, VA

Governor Bob McDonnell today announced the Governor's Substance Abuse Awareness Vital for Virginia Youth (SAVVY) Schools and Communities Recognition Program. This program is another component of the SAVVY initiative that kicked off in November of 2012. The program will recognize Virginia school divisions and community partners for their efforts to prevent substance abuse among youth.

The Departments of Education, Health, Alcoholic Beverage Control, and Behavioral Health and Developmental Services partnered with educators and health professionals from the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and the Office of the Governor to develop this program to recognize prevention and intervention efforts in Virginia's schools in collaboration with community partners. The new program is intended to promote best practices and community responsiveness that leads to enhanced student health, school engagement, and academic and personal achievement.

"The damage done by substance abuse affects countless families and communities," said Governor McDonnell. "That's why communities across the Commonwealth are working together at all levels to promote the healthy development of our children and providing clear paths for addressing the negative effects of substance abuse. Through this program, we will recognize the power of substance abuse prevention activities that are informed by science, driven by local partnerships, and tuned to the specific needs of a community."

"I encourage all school divisions to participate in the SAVVY Schools and Communities Recognition Program. I look forward to recognizing those school divisions that have implemented best practices prevention programs and that are working closely with community partners to promote the healthy development of our children and young people."

School divisions and their community partners must apply for designation as a Governor's recognized program. Candidates must complete a comprehensive application detailing their substance abuse prevention and intervention efforts being undertaken in the division's schools. Deadline for submitting the application is March 29.

The SAVVY initiative was launched in November with two successful and well attended networking expos in Midlothian and Manassas. SAVVY exhibitors and partners presented information about the dangers of substance abuse with particular emphasis on the growing trends of synthetic cannabinoids, hallucinogenic bath salts and prescription drug abuse.

For more information on the SAVVY Schools and Communities Recognition Program visit the Governor's Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (GOSAP) website at

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