Prevention Matters is a four-year grant initiative launched by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation in 2018 to help Marion County schools identify, implement and sustain proven substance use prevention programs. Proven programs equip students with skills that not only help them avoid drugs and alcohol, but also help improve their academic achievement, attendance, classroom behavior and social and emotional well-being. These programs can also help reduce bullying and violence.
Through Prevention Matters, the Foundation has committed nearly $12 million to implement evidence-based prevention programs in public (traditional, charter and innovation network) and accredited private K-12 schools in Marion County. Prevention Matters funding is projected to serve 177 Indianapolis schools delivering proven prevention programs to 77,500 students by the 2020-2021 school year.
Grants were awarded in two stages:
Planning grants of up to $40,000 were made available to Marion County schools to learn more about evidence-based prevention programs and develop detailed plans for effective implementation. Planning grants were awarded on a non-competitive basis, meaning that all schools that met eligibility criteria and applied received a planning grant.
Forty-four schools received planning grants in March 2018 and were provided access to expert assistance to help develop detailed plans for implementing evidence-based prevention programs.
Planning grant recipients were eligible to apply for three years of funding to implement their plan for an evidence-based prevention program. This stage was competitive, meaning that grants were awarded selectively to schools that developed a comprehensive and realistic plan to implement prevention programs and sustain these programs long-term.
The Foundation connected planning grant recipients with prevention experts who provided free, step-by-step guidance to help: 1) identify the proven prevention program that best meets the needs of each applicant’s students, staff and school environment and 2) develop a plan for sustainable implementation.
In their applications, successful Prevention Matters implementation grant recipients:
Twenty-seven implementation grant recipients are delivering proven prevention programs in their schools during the 2019-2020 school year.
For a summary of the grantees that are implementing programs through Prevention Matters, please see the list of Prevention Matters Implementation Grant Award Recipients.
As a part of Prevention Matters, the Fairbanks Foundation commissioned a program evaluation to 1) measure the impact and benefit of the initiative and 2) identify early challenges in order to provide additional support to address these issues moving forward.
Through the evaluation process, which included survey responses from and interviews with grantees, the Foundation identified the top five tips for schools and districts on effective program implementation.
For additional resources or information related to the Prevention Matters planning or grants process, please contact Sarah Hawkins, Senior Program Officer, at Hawkins@RMFF.org or 317-663-4185.
Due to school closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation’s technical assistance provider, EDC, has compiled a list of remote learning resources from the Prevention Matters curriculum developers. This guidance is being updated on a continuous basis to ensure grantees have the most up-to-date guidance.
This document provides an overview of Prevention Matters, including the initiative’s impact at scale, timeline for implementation, and tips for schools and districts on effective implementation.
This document, created by RTI, provides insight into the first year of Prevention Matters implementation, including early successes, challenges, and lessons learned from year one. The Foundation contracted RTI to conduct a full program evaluation of Prevention Matters.
This document, created by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center, describes the approved evidence-based substance use prevention programs for Prevention Matters. A stand-alone table of approved programs is available here, and an Excel version, which allows sorting and filtering, is available here. A table describing how approved programs align with Indiana state standards is available here.
This document provides a detailed overview of the Prevention Matters initiative and grant application instructions.
This document addresses many questions applicants may have about the Prevention Matters initiative.
This document provides school leaders, teachers and other potential applicants with a brief overview of Prevention Matters.
Additional questions may be directed to Sarah Hawkins, Senior Program Officer, at Hawkins@rmff.org or 317-663-4185.