All posts by Abby Stubenbort

The Rite Aid Foundation Launches the Prescription Drug Safety Program in Scranton-Area High School – The Rite Aid Foundation

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To continue addressing the growing concern regarding adolescent drug abuse and misuse across the country, The Rite Aid Foundation is bringing the Prescription Drug Safety Program to Scranton-area high schools.

At an event at Carbondale Area High School on Friday, December 7, The Rite Aid Foundation formally launched the program for local schools, with speakers including members of the Carbondale Area School District’s leadership team, Carbondale Police Chief Brian Bognatz, as well as a representative of Senator Bob Casey’s office.

“Prescription drug abuse is a serious and growing problem across the United States. Every day 116 people die from opioid-related drug overdoses” said Tracy Henderson, director of The Rite Aid Foundation. “Our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented epidemic that threatens the health, safety and wellbeing of our young people. The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to introduce this important prevention education to Scranton-area students. We hope it arms them with the skills and knowledge to make smart decisions and prevent abuse before it occurs.”

Pennsylvania is one of the states hardest hit by prescription drug abuse and the opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania is among the top five states with the highest rates of opioid-related deaths. In addition, the number of drug overdose deaths is increasing more rapidly in Pennsylvania than any other state in the nation.

“The mission of the Carbondale Area school district is to prepare all students to be active and productive citizens of a changing global community by fostering lifelong self-directed learning,” said Superintendent Robert Mehalick. “The Prescription Drug Safety course supports our district’s mission by empowering students with the tools and skills they need to make their own informed and healthy choices when it comes to using medications.”

After the prepared remarks, students led discussion groups with invited guests to reflect on their own key takeaways from the course. “There’s just a lot of staggering information about the opioid epidemic,” said a Carbondale student. “To learn this information at a younger age is key, because then you go into the real world knowing all of this and then when you’re faced with a tricky situation, it’s a lot easier to respond when you’re educated. I’m just thankful I had the opportunity to take this course.”

The Rite Aid Foundation has made a three-year, $1.7 million commitment to the Prescription Drug Safety program. This donation also funds the introduction of the Prescription Drug Safety program to high schools in Ohio, California, Michigan, Oregon and Pennsylvania. The program is expected to reach more than 400 high schools.

Thanks For Giving from The Rite Aid Foundation – The Rite Aid Foundation

This holiday season, The Rite Aid Foundation said “Thanks For Giving” to more than 440 KidCents charities by awarding each a $5,000 grant on #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media. In total, the KidCents Thanks For Giving Holiday program provided more than $2.2 million to partner charities, who will use the funds for programs and initiatives that help advance the charities’ efforts to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of children.

“The Rite Aid Foundation wanted to recognize and thank our KidCents charities for making a positive impact in their communities and helping to give kids better lives and brighter futures,” said Tracy Henderson, director of The Rite Aid Foundation and charitable giving initiatives. “We couldn’t think of a better time to share this exciting news than on #GivingTuesday, a day where helping others, something KidCents charities do all year long, is front and center.”

Some of the ways the KidCents Thanks For Giving Holiday program grants will be used include:

  •  Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, Philadelphia, PA: This non-profit agency will provide over 1,000 children with gifts this holiday season as a part of their annual toy drive.
  • Girls Inc. of Washington County, Hagerstown, MD: The after-school program designed to meet the unique needs of girls ages 6-18 will participate in several educational field trips that will reinforce learning and provide educational experiences away from their regular environment.
  • Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York, Brooklyn, NY: The non-profit charity, which serves children, families and individuals with developmental disabilities across New York City and Long Island, will provide nutrition workshops, gym memberships and dental care to foster children as a part of their wellness program.
  • Richstone Family Center, Hawthorne, CA: This non-profit social services agency will host a “Breakfast with Santa” event for children and families affected by child abuse and trauma, allowing attendees to enjoy a healthy breakfast, holiday games, and a morning of family wellness activities.
  • Wayfinder Family Services, Los Angeles, CA: The non-profit organization, which offers vision loss, special needs, foster and adoption, and mental health services, will allow 10 children who are blind, visually-impaired or multi-disabled to attend Camp Bloomfield and participate in challenging recreational and social activities.

In addition, Whaley Children’s Center in Flint, Michigan received an additional $2,500 grant for having the most engagement on their #KidCentsThanksForGiving social posts! The center provides tools to children and families who have experienced trauma to reach their full potential and will use their grant to remodel residence bedrooms and give children an even better place to call home.

 

Happy holidays from everyone at The Rite Aid Foundation!