Camden, N.J., Program Aims to Steer Youth Away from Drugs

Camden youth mentoring and enrichment program

The Woodland Community Development Corporation developed a project that provides inner-city children in Camden, N.J., ages 5–14, with tutoring and enrichment activities in an effort to delay their experimentation with alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs.

Woodland is a Camden-based nonprofit social service agency established by the Rev. Floyd L. White III, pastor of the Woodland Avenue Presbyterian Church in Camden.

Key Results

  • Project results reported by Woodland included:

    • Establishment of an after-school program to give students academic assistance, cultural enrichment, and substance-abuse information.
    • Employment of a substance abuse prevention specialist, a dance therapist, and an art therapist to work with students at the homework centers on a rotational basis.
    • Convening of two parenting workshops for parents of participating students.
    • Sponsorship of two public events—called Spring Extravaganzas—to showcase dance routines and anti-drug skits performed by students.
    • Surveys of staff at the homework centers conducted indicated participating students showed improvement in grades and motivation.

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