brownThe mission of the Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children is the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse and violence by children through education, intervention and counseling.

Pennsylvania has a successful Student Assistance Program thanks to Masons. With the Foundation's support of the Department of Education's training, there are Student Assistance Teams in every senior and junior high school in the Commonwealth. During the last school year term 60,345 students were handled with 47,534 being found to warrant further action. Out of those with action taken on drug or alcohol problems, 85% had no further violations.

Seven Carl W. Stenberg scholarships of $1,000 each per year for four years were awarded to students who were recommended by their Student Assistance Teams after they successfully completed a counseling program and turned their lives around. Fifty-six Stenberg scholarships have been awarded since 1993.

In continued support of D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the Foundation supplied the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency with use of the Masonic Conference Center where law enforcement officers from across the state train students to say 'no' and combat peer pressures. This past year 100 more officers were trained making a total of 950 to date.

The Grand Master's Law Enforcement Scholarship provides up to $2,500 a year for up to four years to students who are earning a degree in Criminal Justice. These students must have Masonic Affiliation (Children or Grandchildren of a Mason in good-standing). Two full four-year scholarships were awarded in 2003.

The Foundation gives support to the National Masonic Foundation for Children; Pennsylvania Association of Student Assistance Professionals; along with other community based programs. The Foundation is a member of the Pennsylvanians Against Underage Drinking and plays a large role on the Steering and Executive Committees, interacting and co-sponsoring programs with both Pa. AWARE and the Pennsylvania National Guard. Participation in law enforcement conferences, education seminars and speaking at youth groups continues to be part of the Foundation's activities.

Project Care is a violence prevention program given to teachers and administrators throughout the Commonwealth. This program provides the tools necessary to help identify and aide children with bullying and violent behaviors. They also give administrators the tools needed to set up prevention programs in their schools.

The Masonic CHIP Program will begin in 2004. It is a comprehensive one-stop child identification program. The program will be available across Pennsylvania to children age 1 through 18. The program begins with a digital image with audio. Each child is asked a series of 18 questions i.e.: address, name, who their friends are, how do they go to school. The information is placed on a CD disk and can be provided to police, media or search and rescue personnel. Each child is fingerprinted with a DNA kit. The kit will permit parents to take an oral swab, fingernail clippings, and hair samples. The program will be available in the schools at classroom level and at community events. To participate, children must have a parental consent form. CHIP teams of Pennsylvania Freemasons, the Crime Prevention Association, police officers and community volunteers will be available across Pennsylvania. The program is at no cost to participants and is committed to children and their safety.

Speakers are available for all Masonic Bodies and community organizations. Each Masonic District has a District Chairman assigned to assist with programs. Office 215-988-1978.

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