Greensburg-Salem School District
There are many challenges facing youth and their families today, and although efforts are made to help them, most have limited success. When youth begin engaging in “risky” behaviors, such as substance use, it can lead to serious problems, not only for the youth involved and their families, but also for their community and society. There is good news though. There are programs out there that have been proven to decrease risky youth behaviors, enhance positive youth development, and strengthen families. And since resources are limited, it only makes sense to use programs that we know work.
Effectively delivering these evidence-based programs year after year requires a level of human and financial resources that would be difficult for any one agency or organization to sustain. This is why, in 2010, the Greensburg-Salem School District joined Penn State Extension to form a team of volunteers representing a number of local youth-serving entities to take on this task. This group of individuals, known as the PROSPER Team, is led by Anne Lail, a representative from Penn State Cooperative Extension in Westmoreland County, and is co-led by Anita Rometo, Community Liason of Greensburg Salem School District. The Greensburg-Salem PROSPER Team includes representatives from Big Brothers Big Sisters, Saint Vincent College Prevention Projects, Parent and Family Services of Western PA, Private Industry Council, Westmoreland County Juvenile Probation, Excela Behavioral Health and Community Volunteers.
What the Greensburg-Salem PROSPER Team does for the community
The team is relatively small compared to traditional “big-tent” coalitions so that it can focus its efforts on helping youth make good choices and become responsible citizens. Each year the PROSPER Team invites 6th grade students and their parents to participate in the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14.
The Greensburg-Salem PROSPER Team Mission Statement
Partnering with community, school and families;
Resolving to provide
Innovative programs to strengthen families and to
Develop strong competent healthy young adults through
Encouragement and education.
Because of the PROSPER Team and its supporters, these programs have been making a difference in the lives of Greensburg youth and families.
“We learned to come together and listen to each other’s point of view.”—Youth
“I learned how to deal with peer pressure and how to reach my goals.”—Youth
"It's a great program! It will help you and your child understand each other more and it will make the next few years easier!"-Parent
“I learned that becoming a better family takes time and effort on every person’s part; as a whole and as a team.”—Parent