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April 11, 2019

New Grant Funding Supports Training Resources Focused on Opioid Misuse Prevention Among Youth

Funding will be used to develop professional training resources for out-of-school time providers

ASHBURN, VA—April 11,2019— The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the Afterschool Alliance and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Healthier Generation) are proud to collaborate on a new initiative to provide out-of-school time (OST) providers with professional development training resources to prevent opioid misuse among youth. Funding for the training resources is provided by the AmerisourceBergen Foundation, the not-for-profit charitable giving arm of AmerisourceBergen.

Through this collaboration, NRPA, the Afterschool Alliance and Healthier Generation will develop a suite of professional development training resources to equip OST providers with the skills and knowledge to reduce risk factors, boost protective factors and prevent opioid misuse among youth. Specifically, the three groups will: 

  • Develop a quarterly online learning series focused on prevention of opioid misuse and identification and reduction of risk factors
  • Develop and disseminate an issue brief on the role of OST in prevention
  • Present an education session at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference, and 2-3 other conferences, to demonstrate the connection between OST, protective factors and prevention
  • Host on-demand virtual training for thousands of schools and OST sites

“NRPA is proud to help lead the field with this critical training to address children who are victims of the opioid epidemic,” said Kellie May, NRPA vice president of programs. “We look forward to working closely with the Afterschool Alliance and Healthier Generation to better equip OST providers with the tools they need to help youth who are at risk or are currently experiencing trauma due to opioid abuse.”

“In communities struggling with opioid and other substance misuse,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant, “afterschool and summer learning programs play a critical role increasing resilience among young people, supporting positive youth development. They’re doing heroic work to prevent substance misuse by children and youth, and to help them cope in the face of substance misuse in their families. We are pleased to partner with NRPA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to support the out-of-school-time field in this important work.”

“Kids’ health, both physical and emotional, influences their ability to reach their fullest potential,” said Healthier Generation CEO Kathy Higgins. “For the past five years, we are proud to have supported over 2,000 recreation agencies in implementing national standards for healthy eating and physical activity through training and professional development – impacting almost 500,000 youth. This opportunity will allow us to build on that foundation while further integrating social-emotional health with physical health.”

NRPA, along with the Afterschool Alliance and Healthier Generation, believes that by addressing risk and protective factors through positive youth development, OST providers can prevent misuse and empower children to thrive socially, emotionally and physically.

The AmerisourceBergen Foundation awarded this grant through its Opioid Resource Grant Program, which enables the Foundation to support and advance ideas from innovative nonprofits, at the local and national level, to fight against opioid misuse.


About the National Recreation and Park Association 
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

About the Afterschool Alliance
The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs. More information is available at www.AfterschoolAlliance.org.

About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation believes every child deserves a healthy future. For over a decade, Healthier Generation has empowered kids to develop lifelong healthy habits by ensuring the environments that surround them provide and promote good health. Driven by our passion that all young people deserve a chance to live healthier lives, our work, in total, has reached up to 28 million kids across the country. To learn more and help make a difference, visit HealthierGeneration.org and join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact

Megan Walcek

Marketing and Communications Manager | Alliance for a Healthier Generation