An invitation

To the editor:

We would like to cordially invite you to a special event hosted by the Fort Dodge PROSPER Team, celebrating 15 years of providing the evidence-based prevention programs Strengthening Families Program: 10-14 and LifeSkills to sixth- and seventh-graders. This event will take place on May 10 at 3:45 p.m. at the Fort Dodge Middle School. Featured speaker, Dr. Richard Spoth, director of the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute at Iowa State University, will speak to the outcomes and economic benefits of partnership-based dissemination of evidence-based programs and specifically, the Fort Dodge program.

In 2002, 14 school districts in Iowa were included in the PROSPER research study. Today, the partnership between Iowa State University/Webster County Extension and Outreach and the Fort Dodge Community School District is the only sustainable, long-term program remaining linking prevention researchers with schools and community service providers. The local PROSPER team has consistently provided the family-focused program known as Strengthening Families Program: 10-14 and the school-based program, LifeSkills to sixth- and seventh-graders with strict adherence to curriculum standards year after year reducing problem behaviors and delaying onset of substance use at the critical time between childhood to adolescence. Hundreds of Fort Dodge families and thousands of middle school students have participated and benefited from the combination of these programs. The sustainability of this originally grant-funded program is largely due to the many generous funders from within the Fort Dodge community who appreciated the high quality of this family communication/prevention programming.

Please join us on May 10 as we celebrate 15 years of serving Fort Dodge families. We would love to see families served, facilitators past and present, team members past and present, and our generous funders there.

Sherri Schill

Team leader

Webster County

Extension & Outreach

Marcy Harms

Co-team leader

FD Community Schools