1999 was a year of progress for The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children; some new programs were instituted while ongoing successful ones continued. The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children has become well recognized for meeting the challenges and promises of its mission to foster the prevention of drug, alcohol, and other abuses by children through education, intervention, and counseling.
Pennsylvania has a successful Student Assistance Program throughout the state thanks to Masons. With the Foundation's support, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has been able to train Student Assistance Teams in every senior and junior high school in the Commonwealth. During the last school year, 58,157 students were met by Student Assistance Teams, with 43,712 of them warranting further assistance. Among those with whom action was taken on drug or alcohol problems, 85 per cent had no further violations.
Seven more Carl R. Stenberg, Jr., Scholarships of $1,000 each per year for four years were awarded to students who were recommended by the Student Assistance Teams after they had successfully completed a counseling program and turned their lives around. The Stenberg Scholarships awarded in 1999 bring the total to 40 since 1993.
In continued support of D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the Foundation made available the facilities of the Masonic Conference center for the training of law enforcement officers from the state to teach fifth and sixth graders to say "no" and combat peer pressures. With that class, the number of D.A.R.E. officers trained at Elizabethtown totals more than 500.
The Grand Master's Law Enforcement Scholarship provides up to $2,500 a year or $10,000 over four years to students who are seeking to earn a degree in Criminal Justice. Two full four-year scholarships and one partial scholarship were awarded in 1999. Applications for the scholarships are available from the office of the Foundation in Philadelphia. Applicants must have Masonic affiliations, i.e., children or grandchildren of Masons in good standing.
The educational efforts of the Foundation are well targeted. It gives support to the National Masonic Foundation for Children; St. Vincent's College Prevention Project; Adelphoi Village Aftercare Program; Pennsyl-vania Association of Student Assistance Professionals; and 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 Committee's participation in law enforcement conferences, education seminars, and speaking before youth groups.
The Foundation contributed $50,000 as a partner with the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania D.U.I. Association, and Pennsylvania S.A.D.D. in presenting "Every 30 Minutes," an intense two-day program focusing on high school seniors and juniors to challenge them to think about drinking, personal safety, and making mature decisions. The program's name is derived from the fact that "every 30 minutes" in the United States someone loses his or her life to a substance abuse-related traffic accident.
Speakers are available for programs for all Masonic bodies and community organizations. Each Masonic District has a District Chairman ready with information and to assist in meeting program needs.