Indiana University of Pennsylvania has received $39,992 from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to help to fund strategies to reduce underage and dangerous drinking.

IUP's grant is part of funding from PLCB of almost $2.3 million to 65 municipalities, community groups, schools, colleges and universities and law enforcement agencies through the 2015-17 Alcohol Education Grant Program.

Sixty-five applicants from 31 counties across Pennsylvania were awarded a total of $2,274,291 in grants, including Indiana Borough Police and the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission Inc. Both agencies received $40,000 in grant funding.

The grant funds are designed to help fund prevention programs focused on underage and college-age alcohol consumption and support related law-enforcement activities. The maximum award for the two-year grant is $40,000.

“The issue of dangerous and underage drinking is a national one, and IUP is committed to the work of finding effective solutions to this problem,” IUP President Dr. Michael Driscoll said. “We have been engaged in this initiative for some time, and our action plan includes additional education, activities, preparation and enforcement, and working together with our community partners, including Indiana Borough Police, the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission and the Indiana Area School District.

“It is very rewarding to have the PLCB recognize our efforts and help us – and our partners -- with funding to help advance this important work,” Driscoll said.

Read IUP Magazine article Reining In the Party from the Summer 2014 Issue Goals for the grant program were developed following a two-day training program facilitated by the PLCB in 2014. Goals for IUP's initiatives include: reducing underage and harmful drinking in the Indiana community; increasing visibility and total number of students who make safe, legal, and healthy choices regarding alcohol; and strengthening university and Indiana Borough relations in addressing underage and harmful drinking.

“It's exciting that the PLCB acknowledged the work we are doing by awarding us this grant,” Ann Sesti, director of IUP's Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Program, said. Sesti also is the regional director of The Network Addressing Collegiate Alcohol and Other Drug Issues.

“This funding will provide us with additional resources to continue to advance the work that IUP and the Indiana community have been collaborating on for the past few years in addressing dangerous and underage drinking issues,” Sesti said.

Specifically, the goals set by the university will be accomplished through a variety of strategies, including expanding educational programming; developing university and community social media campaigns; increasing police enforcement; and providing support to property owners and landlords by developing improved data collection methods to identify and address high-risk environments, Sesti said.

“The Indiana Borough Police Department is very pleased to be the recipient of this recent grant, along with past grants from the PLCB, to support enforcement efforts,” Cpl. Justin Schawl, Indiana Borough Police, said.

“This work definitely requires partnership. In addition to IUP, the Commission and the Indiana Area School District, the Indiana County District Attorney's office is a key collaborator in our joint efforts to combat underage and high-risk alcohol use.”

The Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission's grant will help to fund new curriculum to help high school students and their families transition onto secondary education settings and have the knowledge and skills they need to live healthy lifestyles free from underage and dangerous drinking, Carrie Bence, deputy director of the Commission, said.

“The collaboration with IUP, Indiana Borough Police, Indiana School District and Indiana County schools and communities will be key to the success of this endeavor. We welcome the opportunity to continue this important work in our communities,” Bence said.

Of the grants awarded:

  • 24 will fund community law-enforcement efforts for targeted underage patrols, training, and equipment.
  • 14 will be used to support communities and nonprofit organizations by funding initiatives such as Project Alert, MADD's Power of Parents®, Parents Who Host, Lose the Most ®, Project Sticker Shock, and the Alcohol Literacy Challenge™.
  • Three will go to school districts to fund various programs aimed at reaching all students from kindergarten to 12th grade through peer education, life skills training, social norms campaigns, and the formation of a SADD™ chapter.
  • 24 college and university grants will help schools develop strategies to reduce underage and dangerous alcohol use including enforcement efforts, social norms campaigns, online alcohol education/assessments, peer educators, and Operation Buzzkill.