"Effective and successful" define the well targeted efforts in 2000 of The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children in addressing the goals of its mission to prevent drug, alcohol, and other abuses by youth through education, intervention, and counseling.
Student Assistance Program
"Pennsylvania has a successful Student Assistance Program statewide, thanks to the Masons." That's a commendation offered several years ago by the head of the Student Assistance Program of the Pennsylvania Department of Education which could be amended from year to year to note that the success is ongoing and expands due largely to the continued support of the Masons of Pennsylvania. The Foundation provides the facilities, lodging, and meals for the educators while being trained for the Student Assistance Program.
Again in 2000, the vital Student Assistance Program across the state grew in the number of schools participating, educators trained, students served, and success. There are now teams in every senior and junior high school in the Commonwealth. One way to evaluate success is to note that during the last school term, there were 61,557 students assisted and of them, 50,789, or more than 82 percent warranted no further action. Of those with whom action was taken for drug or alcohol problems, 76 percent had no further violations.
In addition, The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children made it possible for 100 educators to attend the statewide conference of more than 700 Pennsylvania Association for Student Assistance Professionals. The $42,500 grant in 2000 helped the Association, which is a non-profit organization, to reimburse school districts for substitute teachers, provide transportation and housing, and acquire training materials.
Seven Carl W. Stenberg, Jr., 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 that turned their lives around. Twenty-six Stenberg Scholarships have been awarded since 1993.
Two full four-year Grand Master's Law Enforcement Scholarships were granted in 2000. Each scholarship provides up to $2,500 a year for up to four years, or a possible $10,000, to a student who is seeking to earn a degree in Criminal Justice. The applicants for the Grand Master's Law Enforcement Scholarship must have a Masonic affiliation; i.e., a child or grandchild of a Mason in good standing.
During 2000, 103 more law enforcement officers were trained in the two-week D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program supported by the Foundation at the Masonic Conference Center on the Patton Campus at Elizabethtown. That brought the total number of officers trained in the program to 698 and two more sessions with 30 to 50 officers each are to be held in 2001. The officers are trained to teach fifth and sixth grade students in classrooms about how to say "no" and combat peer pressures. This highly successful program is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, D.A.R.E. America, and The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children. The Foundation provides lodging, meals, classrooms, recreation and training materials for the officers while in training.
Community-Based Programs Supported
In its wide-ranging commitment to provide and support addiction awareness in the communities of Pennsylvania, the Foundation gives support to the Sranton Cultural Center and Safety Kids, Inc. in Pittsburgh among other community-based programs. The Foundation is a member of Pennsylvanians Against Underage Drinking and plays a role on its Steering and Executive Committees, interacting and co-sponsoring programs with Pennsylvania AWARE and the Pennsylvania National Guard. The Pennsylvania Foundation is a member and strong supporter of the National Masonic Foundation for Children.
Speakers are available for presentations for all Masonic bodies and community organizations. To engage a speaker, or for more information about The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children, call (215) 988-1978 or (215) 988-1923.
The Mission: The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children
The mission of The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children is the prevention of drug, alcohol, and other abuses by children through education, intervention, and counseling. This mission is carried out through the support of well established programs of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquen-cy, and other existing groups concerned with juvenile addictions.
The Foundation also is committed to the Fraternity and the communities of Pennsylvania in providing and supporting addiction awareness. This is done through a network of speakers and grassroots community involvement.
Members of the 2000 Board of Directors of The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children
James L. Ernette, R.W.P.G.M., President
James J. Campanile
Thomas K. Coury
Larry R. Emigh
William M. Kessler
George W. Polnar
Raymond G. Brown,
Executive Director and Secretary to the Board of Directors