Educational Service District 112 (ESD 112) has received a state grant of $220,000 to reduce youth alcohol, marijuana and other drug use in the community of Kelso, WA. The two-year grant, awarded by the Washington Health Care Authority’s (HCA), Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR), includes funding for training, technical assistance, and community and school-based prevention services.

Kelso is one of 10 communities within the ESD 112 footprint participating in DBHR’s Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI). The Initiative supports new or existing coalitions in partnering with parents, youth, educators, health professionals, law enforcement, faith leaders and local government. Coalitions identify their highest prevention needs, plan and implement evidence-based strategies, leverage local resources and evaluate the impact of selected programs.

“Extending these resources to local communities means greater reductions in risky behavior including substance abuse and the harm it causes to people and their families,” said Michael Langer, acting assistant director of the Washington State Health Care Authority’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. “Community leaders can use this grant to help young people make healthy choices and succeed.”

CPWI’s primary goals are to reduce underage use of alcohol and marijuana, improve academic performance and reduce juvenile crime, and pre-pandemic studies have shown that CPWI programs have positively impacted families across the state. The Washington State Healthy Youth Survey showed that underage drinking among 10th graders in Cowlitz County decreased from 29% in 2010 to 18% in 2018.

“Evidence-based programs like CPWI really do make a difference in communities across the state,” said Leanne Reid, ESD 112 Prevention Youth Services Manager. “With this grant, we have a great opportunity to continue to reduce underage substance use in Kelso, and we are excited to work with our community partners and coalitions there.”

We want to hear Kelso residents’ opinions regarding underage drug and alcohol use in the community.  The data from this anonymous community survey will help us develop and prioritize our prevention plan.  The community survey is available online in English & Spanish.

Please contact Christine Katon at 360-355-3119 if you are interested in learning more about the coalition or want to get involved.

Additional information about CPWI can be found at The Healthy Youth Survey findings are available at The survey is a collaborative effort of Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Department of Health, Department of Social and Health Service’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, and the Liquor and Cannabis Board.