Prevention & Education in Schools

For 9 out of 10 people, addiction begins in adolescence. And, for too many children, first time substance use occurs around age 13.

Prevention and education is key to fighting drug and alcohol problems. And it’s especially important with our kids.

Youth prevention programs like ours not only work to keep kids safe, they are also cost-effective: for each dollar invested in youth prevention work, as much as $20 in treatment, law enforcement, and health costs can be saved.

At Prairie Center, our trained and certified team of Prevention Specialists take youth education seriously. We provide an award-winning and evidence-based life skills and drug education curriculum called Too Good for Drugs to nearly 6,000 students across east central Illinois each year.

Every day, each team member hits classrooms across participating school districts, using the hard-hitting, interactive curriculum to help kids learn skills to say no, meet the challenges of life, build self-confidence, make responsible decisions, and form healthy relationships.

This work is so important to fighting addiction issues in our region that we offer these services to participating schools completely free of charge thanks to these generous funders.

Our prevention programs are delivered to Pre-K through high school aged youth. Interactive educational sessions help young participants understand the health risks associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Life skills sessions include instruction on and discussion of refusal skills, self-esteem, communicating with parents, and related social issues.

Learn more about Prairie Center's free youth prevention and education programs by calling Rachael Blosser at 217-689-4953 x234 or

What Kids Learn

It’s not just about learning to “say no”. The Too Good For Drugs curriculum we use reaches much deeper in helping our kids grow into happy, healthy adults. Our work teaches kids of all ages a plethora of other valuable life skills, such as:

  • Skills to say no to drugs, sex, and other temptations
  • Avoiding peer pressure
  • Conflict resolution
  • Effective communication
  • Meeting life’s challenges
  • Social and emotional competency
  • Building self-confidence
  • Making responsible decisions
  • Forming healthy relationships with friends, relatives, and others

Benefits of This Program & Curriculum

Our educational work goes much deeper than school assemblies or an occasional speaker. Using an award-winning, results-proven curriculum, we spend multiple days each week with students over the course of several weeks each quarter really educating them. For some kids in participating districts, we’ve taught them from kindergarten clear through high school.

Here are just some of the benefits of Prairie Center’s youth prevention and education program:

  • Award-winning, research-based curriculum
  • Certified Alcohol & Drug Preventionist educators
  • Curriculum structure allows us to form meaningful, multi-year relationships with kids.
  • Curriculum aligned with state teaching standards
  • Pre- and post-testing to ensure learning, results, and progress
  • Free: programs are underwritten by grant funders and donors
  • School year and summer programs
  • More than just ‘saying no’: teaching kids healthy life skills

Too Good For Drugs Lessons & Topics

Going well beyond just learning to “say no”, the award-winning Too Good For Drugs curriculum we use teaches our kids many other valuable life skills. Here’s a glimpse of some of the curriculum sections we offer:

  • Goal setting
  • Decision-making
  • Managing emotions
  • Communications skills
  • Peer pressure refusal
  • Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, drugs

Our Funders

Thanks to these generous funders for supporting our prevention and education work and allowing our programs to be free to area schools:

Summer & Other Prevention Programming

Just because the end of the school year hits doesn’t mean our educational programs end. We are active in a number of other programs and ways during the not-so-lazy days of summer:

Support our prevention and education work.
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