CAMP HILL, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In an effort to help address adolescent drug abuse and misuse in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Rite Aid Foundation, Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro are teaming up to bring the Prescription Drug Safety program, an innovative digital course about prescription drug abuse prevention, to Pittsburgh-area high schools.
The program, developed by EVERFI, the nation’s leading technology innovator used in one-in-seven schools nationwide, will be made available to high schools in the greater Pittsburgh area at no cost. Representatives of The Rite Aid Foundation, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and the Attorney General’s office will formally announce the partnership today at 10:45 a.m. during a press conference at Pittsburgh Brashear High School, located at 590 Crane Ave., in Pittsburgh.
“Prescription drug abuse and misuse is a growing issue that poses a serious threat to the health, safety and well-being of our nation’s young people,” said Kermit Crawford, president and chief operating officer of Rite Aid Corporation and president of The Rite Aid Foundation. “The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to help introduce this important prevention education initiative to high school students so they can gain awareness and have the knowledge they need to stay safe and prevent abuse before it occurs.”
In addition to the activation in Pittsburgh-area high schools, as part of its commitment to creating safe and healthy environments for children and teens, this year, The Rite Aid Foundation, through its KidCents program, will also fund the introduction of the Prescription Drug Safety program to high schools in the Harrisburg/York/Lancaster/Lebanon and Wilkes Barre/Scranton markets in Pennsylvania as well as several communities in Ohio, Washington and Oregon. In all, The Rite Aid Foundation is making a three-year, $1.125 million commitment to the Prescription Drug Safety program.
“The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation is committed to ensuring our young people have vibrant and healthy futures,” said Dave Soltesz, president, Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. “Teaching students about prescription drug abuse and providing them with skills to prevent abuse before it occurs are critical components to advancing that mission.”
“Eighty percent of heroin users begin their substance use by abusing prescription drugs, so educating our children about the dangers of drug abuse is critically important,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “I want to commend The Rite Aid Foundation, the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, and EVERFI for bringing this prevention curriculum to children and young people in our schools. Fighting this epidemic is my top priority and I’m proud to partner with you in this important effort.”
The Prescription Drug Safety program uses an evidence-based, public health approach to empower high school students with the skills and knowledge they need to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drugs. Through interactive scenarios and self-guided activities, students learn the facts about drugs, how to properly use and dispose of them, and how to step in when faced with a situation involving misuse. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Education Standards and state academic standards. There is also a microsite with additional resources including parent guides and information on local safe medication disposal.
The digital prescription drug abuse prevention course is the flagship initiative of the Prescription Drug Safety Network, the nation’s first public-private initiative to combat prescription drug abuse by providing prevention education to schools. The Rite Aid Foundation, Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Attorney General Shapiro are partners in the nationwide coalition, which is committed to empowering Americans with the skills to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drug use for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $36 million to non-profit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $87 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.
Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation's leading drugstore chains with fiscal 2017 annual revenues of $32.8 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company's website at www.riteaid.com.
Founded in 2010, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation is the 501c3 philanthropic hand of the Back-to-Back Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. With the belief that "Kids Are The Future," the Penguins Foundation focuses its efforts on making an impact on the lives of the littlest fans of the Penguins team and organization. Through programs related to the Penguins Foundation's pillars of playing, growing, helping and learning, the Foundation has been able to make countless assists to the community in just a few short seasons including an overall contribution of $37 million to charitable causes since 2010.
EVERFI, Inc. is the leading education technology company that provides learners of all ages education for the real world, through innovative and scalable digital learning. Founded in 2008, EVERFI has certified over 16 million learners in critical skill areas with more than 4,300 partners in all 50 U.S. States and Canada. EVERFI is an industry convenor that builds Networks to tackle the toughest social issues, including the Campus Prevention Network, a coalition of higher education institutions committed to campus sexual assault and alcohol abuse prevention; and the Financial Capability Network, a coalition of industry leaders dedicated to improving financial outcomes for communities across the country. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, TPG Growth, and The Rise Fund.
The Pittsburgh Public School District is the largest of 43 school districts in Allegheny County and second largest in Pennsylvania. The District serves approximately 24,000 students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. Pittsburgh’s public school system is in the midst of its 2017-2022 Strategic Plan: Expect Great Things, which sets forth four desired long-term outcomes, four strategic themes and 19 initiatives to create a student-centered culture built on continuous improvement. The Pittsburgh Public Schools offers students a variety of options and opportunities that will help them succeed in school, and prepare them for whatever comes next college, career and life.