We are so excited to introduce Herren Project Clubs this fall!
THP Project Purple Initiative has been retired and we have new, exciting Herren Project Clubs and Herren Project’s awareness week in its’ place!
Read below for a question and answer with our Director of Outreach, Rachel Scott.
What are Herren Project Clubs?
Herren Project Clubs create a peer network in schools to empower youth to make healthy choices. They encourage overall wellness, development of coping skills and leadership in schools and communities. Through club meetings and events, students learn self-care, decision-making skills & stress management techniques so that they can cope with life’s challenges substance-free. The school community that forms within Herren Project Clubs motivates students to be true to themselves and support one another.
Why is THP Project Purple Initiative being retired?
At Herren Project, we truly want to make a difference in substance use disorder prevention. We spent a long-time soul searching and made the difficult decision to retire the THP Project Purple Initiative. We loved watching everyone get involved and make a difference, but we’re now taking our prevention efforts one step further and further establishing ourselves as a true resource for substance use prevention.
A large part of our decision to retire THP Project Purple Initiative had to do with naming conflicts. Many organizations “go purple”, such as Alzheimer’s, pancreatic cancer and domestic abuse, and while these are all important causes, this limited our ability to make the greatest impact in the world of substance use prevention. We take our mission seriously at Herren Project and in order to reach more youth and fully accomplish our mission at Herren Project, we needed to establish ourselves and our programs as one cohesive organization. THP Project Purple Initiative morphed into its own organization and this unfortunately created a lot of confusion. Many people didn’t know that THP Project Purple Initiative was part of Herren Project. Due to this confusion and realization that we needed to make a change in order to grow, we decided to retire THP Project Purple Initiative.
In its place, we created Herren Project Clubs. We believe creating peer-to-peer clubs that teach students healthy coping skills and give students a safe space to be themselves, paired with an outside evidence-based intervention (EBI) substance use prevention curriculum, will be the most effective way to prevent alcohol and drug use experimentation. As a recovery organization, prevention is one of our top priorities and Herren Project Clubs allow us to teach students healthy coping skills to help prevent the use of substances as a way to cope. We spent a year interviewing, surveying and meeting with teachers, clinicians, counselors, students and community members to launch Herren Project Clubs and create our new club toolkits. We have an exciting mailed toolkit with activities that we will be sending to registered schools in January. We are so grateful for all the hard work and volunteer hours from the teachers, clinicians, counselors, students and community members that we have worked with this past year to create Herren Project Clubs and our upcoming toolkit. We also created a brand new Herren Project Awareness week for communities and schools. Communities can decorate their town with healthy messages, teach youth about wellness and making healthy choices, and support their local community in recovery. Just as we raised awareness for youth making healthy choices and substance-free living during the retired THP Project Purple Initiative in January, we will now be bringing the same message to Herren Project’s Awareness Week during the first full week of March. Community posters will be available to download, and you can purchase fun gear and decorations to decorate your town and school.
What do schools and communities receive when they register online for Herren Project Clubs?
After registering, schools and communities will receive a brand-new downloadable toolkit that was designed by teachers, administrators, community members and students. We spent a year talking to schools and communities like yours to find out what is needed for students and we created a toolkit based on your feedback. The toolkit goes over how to start your club, how to outreach to students, ways to fundraise, event ideas, club messaging, case studies and gear guidelines and includes outside mental health resources. This digital toolkit is currently available to everyone and in January, we will have a printed mailed version that comes with 10 healthy coping skills activities, printed posters, a sticker and blow up beach ball for one of the activities. All schools who register for Herren Project Clubs will automatically be signed up for the mailed toolkit coming in January. By registering for a Herren Project Club, you will also receive digital access to our brand new 2019-2020 Herren Project Club posters!
Go to https://herrenproject.org/register-hp-clubs/ to register your school or community today.
How can communities participate in Herren Project Clubs and Herren Project?
You can encourage your local school to start a Herren Project Club or start an after school Herren Project Club through your local coalition. Other ways your community can be involved with Herren Project are through celebrating National Recovery Month with us in September and celebrating Herren Project’s brand-new Awareness Week during the first week of March. Mark your calendars! During Awareness Week, you can spread Herren Project’s message of making healthy choices and raising awareness of substance use disorder. In September’s Recovery Month, join us as we increase awareness and understanding of substance use disorder and celebrate the people in our community who recover. We will have downloadable posters on our website for both Recovery Month and Awareness Week. You can participate by hosting local events in your community, raising awareness of substance use disorder and teaching youth about wellness, personal empowerment and making healthy choices.
I’m excited to get involved! What are the first steps? Register your Herren Project Club today at https://herrenproject.org/register-hp-clubs/ to receive digital access to the toolkit and posters! The toolkit will show you how to start a new club or grow your existing club and you can reach out to our Director of Outreach, Rachel Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Make sure you also sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on all the latest news at https://herrenproject.org/contact. You can also sign up for our community newsletter for community-specific news at https://herrenproject.org/community-involvement/.
We really hope you join us as we move forward with our prevention programs and make an even bigger impact on our youth! We all share the common goal of preventing youth from turning to substances as a way to cope with life’s challenges and we know Herren Project Clubs and our new community programs will help us accomplish these goals. We hope you take up our call to action to start a Herren Project Club in your community and participate in Recovery Month and Awareness Week to empower youth to make healthy choices today.