The Community Coalition for Healthy Youth (CCHY) has been coordinated since 2002 by the Tompkins County Youth Services Department with current leadership from Amie Hendrix, Director. To support and expand the work of over 100 volunteers during its first few years, the Coalition applied for and received a Drug Free Communities grant in 2004 from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The Coalition has worked since its inception to measurably reduce the incidence of substance abuse among youth. The Coalition has an additional goal to improve school safety and increase student attachment to schools, responding to a community need to reduce the incidence of hurtful behaviors among youth.
The Coalition's area of focus in the early years was the Ithaca City School District which serves roughly 45% of Tompkins County's students. In the last 2 years the focus has expanded to be countywide. In fall 2008, five of the county's six school districts participated in planning and administering a common student survey, providing schools, the Coalition, and local planning groups with valuable data to further understand needs and plan strategies to reduce youth substance use and other risk behaviors and to improve youth outcomes. In fall, 2010, students in all six school districts participated.
- Local data, collected through biannual school surveys from 2003 - 2007, help to mobilize schools and community groups into action
- Six year social norms marketing campaigns in DeWitt Middle School has reduced pressure to use alcohol and other drugs; new social norms campaign launched at Trumansburg Middle School in fall, 2011.
- Local agencies serving youth with drug problems are more effective through coordination and mutual support.
- Prevention programs in the elementary schools improve social skills and reduce bullying behaviors.