The Early Prevention Impacts Community Coalition was recently awarded a special projects grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health.
This grant will allow EPIC to expand their existing prevention efforts by providing a program, "EPIC Pals" or "Pals," to young people in Cape Girardeau County.
They say young people in the "Pals" program will also get to work hands on with dogs in a small group setting under the direction of a skilled dog trainer.
The group combines a social and emotional learning curriculum along with a structured dog training component to create "Pals."
Initially, EPIC will take referrals for the "Pals" program from the Cape Girardeau County Juvenile Office, the Division of Youth Services aftercare program and the Division of Youth Services afterschool program. In the future, they plan to expand the program and provide "Pals" to other groups of young people.
In addition to helping young people build the social and emotional skills they need to protect them from substance abuse and other high-risk behaviors, through "Pals," EPIC said they hope to raise awareness for the plight of shelter dogs, increase support for local shelters and increase the adoptability of shelter dogs.
EPIC will receive a total of $163, 436 over the next four years from the Missouri Foundation for Health to support this special project. Funds from the grant will be used in part to contract with a teacher who will implement the curriculum and a dog trainer who will work with the youth to teach them dog training skills.
For more information about EPIC or this program, you may call 573-587-1921 or e-mail email@example.com.