Message from Governor McDonnell

Dear Applicant,

For many years, state and local agencies have tirelessly worked together to ensure that our young people in Virginia are learning and growing in a safe environment. As a result of these strong collaborative efforts, Virginia is a great place to raise a family. Yet, it is vital that we continue to be vigilant in our efforts to combat substance abuse in our schools and communities. We must continue to support the efforts of parents, schools, and communities across the state whose positive influence is the most effective deterrent to substance abuse. Through statewide and regional collaboration, community programs, and the help of engaged youth, parents, guardians, educators, law enforcement officers and others, we can build a stronger and healthier Commonwealth.

The damage done by substance abuse affects countless families and communities. Yet, communities across the Commonwealth are working together at all levels to promote the healthy development of our children and providing clear paths for addressing the negative effects of substance abuse.

The Substance Abuse Awareness Vital for Virginia Youth (SAVVY) initiative is a collaborative effort among state agencies to support and recognize the efforts of school divisions and community partners. As part of this initiative, I am launching the SAVVY Schools and Communities Recognition Program for promising substance abuse prevention practices in schools divisions across the Commonwealth.

This program seeks to acknowledge school divisions and community partners for their efforts to prevent substance abuse. Through this program, we will recognize the power of community-based substance abuse prevention efforts that are informed by science, driven by local partnerships, and tuned to the specific needs of a community.

I challenge school divisions to participate in the SAVVY Schools and Communities Recognition Program. I look forward to recognizing schools and their community partners that have implemented best practices for substance abuse prevention and promotion of healthy development in our children.

Robert F. McDonnell