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October 2009

Our Mission
To foster nurturing and healthy relationships, environments and programs that encourage positive youth development and enable all young people in Greater Portland to live substance-free.
The 40 Developmental Assets
OMOP promotes & integrates Search Institute's Developmental Assets® approach in our programming to further positive youth development in Portland.
Interactive Asset Building Tip of the Month:
Boundaries & Expectations
Family Boundaries: If your child lashes out at you, try responding with love rather than anger, such as, "I'm sorry you're feeling that way right now. I love you, but it's not okay to act this way."
School Boundaries:
School should feel safe to children. If your child is being teased or bullied-in the classroom, on the playground, or to and from school-be sure to talk to your child's teacher; speak up as soon as you believe this is an issue.
Neighborhood Boundaries:
Tell other parents when you see their children being responsible or generous in their actions. Try to find opportunities to praise more often than you report misbehavior.
Adult Role Models:
Model for your children hard work, a good attitude, and respect for others.
Positive Peer Influence:
Child's closest friends model positive, responsible behavior.
High Expectations:
Parent(s) and teachers expect the child to do her or his best at school and in other activities

Want more? Click here!
yellow leaves
Habla Con Tus Hijos:
Spanish-Language Resource Encouraging and Supporting Parent/Child Communication

The The Partnership for a Drug-Free America has launched "Habla Con Tus Hijos," the first-of-its-kind Spanish-language web resource and educational campaign encouraging parents to have frequent conversations with their kids about the risks of drug and alcohol use.
PDFA Habla Con Tus Hijos
"Habla Con Tus Hijos" empowers Hispanic parents and caregivers to start and maintain open, honest conversations with their children by providing them with helpful in-language tips and tools available at
CASA: The Importance of Family Dinners V
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University
Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five or more per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are twice as likely to use tobacco or marijuana; more than one and a half times likelier to use alcohol; and twice as likely to expect to try drugs in the future, according to The Importance of Family Dinners V, a new report by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

"The magic of the family dinner comes not from the food on the plate but from who's at the table and what's happening there.  The emotional and social benefits that come from family dinners are priceless," said Elizabeth Planet, CASA's Vice President and Director of Special Projects.

Click Here for CASA's Webpage & to Download the (free) Report
Funding Opportunities
The National Gardening Association presents the Youth Garden Grants Program
NGA is delighted to announce that The Home Depot Garden Club has returned as our Youth Garden Grants sponsor for 2010. For more than 25 years, NGA's Youth Garden Grants program has helped more than 1.3 million youngsters reap rewards and vital life lessons from working in gardens and habitats, and thanks to the generosity of The Home Depot Garden Club, we can reach many more eager young learners.

Do Something Offers Grants to Support Youth-Led Projects Addressing Teen Dating Abuse
Do Something and Liz Claiborne, Inc. seek to support young people across the United States who are taking a stand against teen dating abuse.

Do Something will award ten grants of $250 each to help run projects started by young people that are fighting teen dating abuse. Programs may include activities such as holding an abuse awareness week at school, setting up a peer-counseling program, or posting flyers to alert people about dating abuse hotlines.  Visit FMI

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Positive Tickets Update
The Positive Tickets have been printed (hooray!) and we are coming closer to having the Positive Tickets hit the streets of Portland so keep your eyes on your inbox for a special edition as soon as we launch! 

Additionally, we are in the process of printing 2,000 vouchers from our biggest sponsor, The Portland Pirates and we are thrilled that the Police Department will also be distributing vouchers (along with the tickets) for Others! Gelato, Subway and Longfellow Books.  Read a 10/10/09 article from The Portland Daily Sun about Chief Craig's Community Policing model HERE
The Ticket!
Portland Pirates!
What's Happening?
OMOP Partner Updates!

Melissa Fochesato, ACCESS Health
ACCESS Health (CASA)"Over homecoming weekend, Brunswick Police Department distributed fact cards at the local football game educating parents on the dangers and legal consequences of social hosting, and tips to protect themselves and their teens.  Communities Against Substance Abuse (CASA) provided the "Parents Who Host Lose the Most" materials and supported the officer time for this important outreach effort.  Fans appreciated the information, as well as the "GO DRAGONS!" shout out printed on the back."  FMI Visit ACCESS Health's/CASA Website

Layne Gregory, Boys to Men

B2M logo"One of the programs we run is called the Maine Boys Network. It is a coalition between representatives of Colby, Bates and Bowdoin Colleges, the Mitchell Institute, the Great Schools Partnership, the University of Maine at Farmington, Unity College, Portland Public Schools, Bridgton and Gould Academies. Our focus is supporting the academic achievement of boys and young men. We offer and deliver educational programs all over the state. We have also been engaged in some compelling research projects over the last couple years focused on finding out from boys what sorts of experiences, relationships and school strategies engage them in the class room and foster a love of learning. We also produce an annual conference each year. This years' is at Unity College on November 6th."  FMI and registration is available at:

Diane Tinkham, Deering High, RY Program
Deering Ram"This Fall fourteen students, freshmen to seniors, are taking part in small group work called Reconnecting Youth that seeks to teach kids a 'better way' to do school, and life.  Classes meet each day during 3 separate blocks and share their lives and their struggles in a safe place.  Some of the lessons learned are for better decision making, stress reduction, listening skills, self esteem building and anger management.  Each day students keep on track by monitoring attendance, moods and drug use control.  More importantly they make connections, new friends and find a safe, confidential, non-judgmental place to air their issues. 

"Reconnecting youth has served over fifty students in the past three years and fourteen have so far graduated, reaching a goal some had doubted possible.  Aside from new skills learned each semester, students and group leaders find in one another close ties, new friends, and some very special memories."

Tezita Negussie, Minority Health Program
Visit the MHP website"In a recent community health survey, Latino and Somali community members in Greater Portland identified alcohol abuse as the most important risky behavior in their respective communities.  The City of Portland's Minority Health Program formed a committee, consisting of the Substance Abuse Prevention Program, Latino and Somali community members, and area service providers and policy makers to address this issue.  Currently in the first phase of its project, the committee is collecting data to assess the extent of alcohol use and the underlying factors contributing to abuse in these communities.  The assessment draws on data from local, state, and national sources as well as focus group and key informant interviews with Latino and Somali community members.  Following the assessment, the committee will plan, implement, monitor and evaluate a comprehensive, evidence-based, culturally-appropriate plan to reduce alcohol use in these communities."  FMI contact Tezita at (207) 874-8962

Beth McNamara, Reconnecting
Reconnecting Youth, Inc.Youth, Inc.
"Reconnecting Youth Inc. has been funded by National Institute of Mental Health to offer our new CAST Trainings for Administrators and Coordinators FREE to 50 participants.  CAST Has been listed on SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, and received terrific scores.  Participants can choose between trainings that will take place in:
· Visalia, CA: October 26-28, 2009
· Seattle, WA: November 18-20, 2009
Contact RY Inc. Info Coordinator Merridy Ruggiero
at (425) 861-1177 or visit
LGBT Youth & Young Adults
in the Spotlight

Friday Forum: The Long Road For LGBT Teens On Primetime TV (YPulse, 9/18/2009)
"...a 2008 study done by Harris Interactive found that 90% of LGBT teens had been harassed over that past year vs. 62% of non-LGBT teens."  Read On...

Confronting Health Disparities Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Youth
"Research indicates that the social stigma that surrounds lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) teens leads to a variety of health risks such as substance use, risky sexual behaviors, eating disorders, suicidal ideation, and victimization." Read More from ScienceDaily

Gay, bisexual teens at risk for eating disorders
Gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers may be at higher risk of binge-eating and purging than their heterosexual peers, starting as early as age 12, a new study finds.  Read More from Reuters

Influence of gender, sexual orientation, and need on treatment utilization for substance use and mental disorders: Findings from the California Quality of Life Survey
"Prior research has shown a higher prevalence of substance use and mental disorders among sexual minorities, however, the influence of sexual orientation on treatment seeking has not been widely studied. We use a model of help-seeking for vulnerable populations to investigate factors related to treatment for alcohol or drug use disorders and mental health disorders, focusing on the contributions of gender, sexual orientation, and need." Read More about the Survey

Looking for Maine-specific health resources for LGBT young adults?  Visit (a Healthy Maine Partnerships collaborative project)
Latinas Making Headlines
Reclaiming Futures Blog: Building Family Strengths by Connecting to Culture
"The Cara y Corazón model -- which is aimed at individuals from all cultural backgronds -- focuses on helping parents and children express emotions, develop empathy, manage anger, and enhance the life skills necessary for functioning in today's society. The program also integrates positive discipline approaches as a vehicle to fostering high self-esteem, self-discipline and social competence in youth." Read More...

Womenstake (Nat'l Women's Law Center): Don't Leave Young Latinas Behind in the Classroom or on the Field
"...students who participated in sports and activities were more engaged in school...participating in activities can help you build relationships with your school and your peers.  Not to mention that playing sports can help adolescent girls develop healthy habits and build self-confidence.

"Unfortunately, Latinas tend to have lower levels of participation in sports than other girls, according to a recent study by the Women's Sports Foundation.

Listening to Latinas: Barriers to High School Graduation
"Latinas are dropping out of school in alarming numbers. Forty-one percent of Latina students do not graduate with their class in four years-if they graduate at all. Many Latina students face challenges related to poverty, immigration status, limited English proficiency, and damaging gender and ethnic stereotypes. And the high teen pregnancy rate for Latinas - the highest of any ethnic group - reflects and reinforces the barriers they face.Read More & View Lucy's Video from the National Women's Law Center
National News Stories & Links
Students with Depression Twice as Likely to Drop out of College
ScienceDaily (7/7/09)

Portland committee has new name, but same goal: graduation
Portland Press Herald (9/30/09)

Lights On Afterschool - October 22, 2009
Afterschool Alliance

Pride survey shows signifcant decline in underage drinking
Century Council (9/18/09)

Link Between Too Many Bars In Rural America And High Suicide Rates Instead Of Idyllic Life
Medical News Today (9/21/09)

Let Kids Just Play
Half Full: Science for Raising Happy Kids (9/17/09)

Honoring Performances that Show the Real-Life Effects of Drugs, Alcohol
PDFA Decoder (9/16/09)

How Binge Drinking Undermines The Immune System
Medical News Today (9/18/09)

Youth Drug Use Down Since 2002
ONDCP (9/10/09)

Study: Kids Lacking Education More Crime-Prone
The Crime Report (9/10/09)

"Missouri Model" for Juvenile Justice on ABC's PrimeTime
Reclaiming Futures (9/9/09)

Where Should Students Learn To Love Reading?
YPulse (8/31/09)

Educational Websites for Kids - Free Learning & Fun
The AssetEdge (9/8/09)
For program info, resources & archived e-newsletters
you can check us out on the web:
Public Health Divsion    Click Here for OSA's Website
OMOP is supported by the City of Portland Public Health Division
Health & Human Services Department, the Healthy Maine Partnerships &
the Maine Office of Substance Abuse