INDIANAPOLIS — To help stop the opioid crisis in central Indiana, a local organization is sponsoring a $12 million grant to reduce children’s substance abuse.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation unveiled a grant Tuesday to Marion County schools.

The $12 million grant will provide funding and assistance to public and private schools in Marion County to implement programs that will reduce students’ use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, prescription drugs and others.

Only 11 percent of Marion County schools currently have a similar program, according to a release from the Fairbanks Foundation.

“Principals, teachers and other educators care deeply about their students, but they have a lot on their plates. They need support finding the programs that best meet their students’ needs and putting them to work in the classroom,” Claire Fiddian-Green, president and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, said in a release.

Grants will be awarded in two stages:

  • Planning: Marion County schools can apply for a Prevention Matters planning grant to identify and plan for a prevention program in their schools. Grants will range from less than $15,000 to $40,000. This stage is non-competitive, meaning that all schools that meet eligibility criteria and apply by February 16, 2018, will receive a planning grant in March 2018.
  • Implementation: Marion County schools can apply for three years of Prevention Matters funding to implement their plan for an evidence-based prevention program. This stage is competitive, meaning that grants will be selectively awarded to schools that develop a realistic plan to implement prevention programs, and sustain these programs long-term. Applications are due by May 25, 2018, and grants will be awarded in July 2018.

For more information on the grants, click here.