In 1994-1995, Marietta City Schools partnered with Washington County Children Services to pilot the School Outreach Prevention Program. This was a part of the Marietta 2000 project to help achieve the national education goals. We were so pleased with the positive outcomes for at-risk families and children that the district renewed the contract with Washington County Children Services annually thereafter until the entire program was eliminated in July 2009 due to the Agency sustaining drastic budget cuts.
Due to family intervention services, three quarters of the participants demonstrated a decrease in problem severity and nearly two thirds showed an increase in overall functioning. The School Outreach Prevention Program is based on a risk and resiliency model and employs a number of strategies to intervene with children and families to decrease their risk and increase resiliency.
Many administrators and teachers commented on the relationship-building skills that the Prevention Specialists exhibited and noted that the program's approach to families and children is very supportive and non-threatening. In fact, the School Outreach Prevention Program was so successful that it was recognized by The Ohio Department of Education for the "Ohio's Best Award."
Please join me in voting yes on Nov. 6 to again provide the School Outreach Prevention Program for our Washington County students and families.
Harry L. Fleming
EDITOR'S NOTE: Harry Fleming is superintendent of Marietta City Schools.