By Erika Webb
Printing information will help pay the freight on messages to Volusia County's youth.
High Octane Printing opened in South Daytona in October. Already serving a number of area businesses and organizations, its profits will help fund the South Daytona-based National Center for Prevention and Research Solutions, Race Against Drugs and Stay on Track programs.
Since 1989, the non-profit organization has aimed to steer kids in a positive direction.
Stay on Track is a racing themed initiative designed for middle schools. Print shop profits and other funding sources are expected to bring the program to all 14 Volusia middle schools, according to NCPRS Director of Operations and Curriculum Dr. Kevin Lemire.
"The print shop is part of a movement called social entrepreneurship and a number of non-profits are going to it," Dr. Lemire said. "For profit businesses can help support non-profit organizations."
NCPRS calls this their P2P (Print to Prevent) initiative, where they use their own internal assets to help sustain their prevention mission, he added.
RAD engages a nationwide network of motorsports spokespersons, who raise awareness of drug abuse and help youth commit to be drug free.
SOT is a school-based prevention program designed for grades 6, 7, and 8 and has been introduced to more than 440,000 students in all 50 states, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through the organization's partnership with the National Guard, according to Dr. Lemire.
"Drug prevention is just a piece of it," he said. "We try to give them all of the tools to live healthy productive lives."
The SOT curriculum includes lessons on health education, decision-making and goal-setting, communication skills and interpersonal relations, and media influences.
"My boss, Ron Steger, started this with the Race Against Drugs program 25 years ago," Dr. Lemire said. "He used motorsports figures and racers, and the power and excitement of motorsports to get kids revved up a bit."
Then, he explained, people began asking for an evidence-based classroom program, which is how SOT began.
Listed with the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the SOT program's drug abuse prevention strategies are evidence based and research tested.
Mr. Steger, NCPRS CEO, worked as director of crime prevention for the U.S. Department of Justice and has raced cars since he was a teenager.
That blend of experience and interest led him to form the program that earns high marks from educators.
NCPRS is working with local businesses, civic organizations, and the Volusia County School District to fund and implement SOT.
"Florida Hospital is going to sponsor three schools this coming fall," Dr. Lemire said.
Jill Piazza, Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler Director of Health and Performance, said a community health needs assessment led the hospital to SOT.
"Aside from analyzing community health data, the assessment involved working with stakeholders in the community for input from outside of the hospital as to what the needs were," Ms. Piazza said. "Through the process we identified the health issues we wanted to target in the community."
Because SOT focuses on substance abuse -- including drugs, alcohol and tobacco -- prevention, is evidenced based, targets students in grades 6, 7 and 8 and was part of a national research study, it easily met the hospital's criteria for funding.
"SOT approached us around the same time we were planning out our community health plan, so the timing was perfect," Ms. Piazza said. "Right now we're working with (NCPRS President) Scott Steger to identify three middle schools and we will implement the program for the 2014-15 school year."
Florida Hospital Memorial in Daytona Beach, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City and Florida Hospital DeLand each will sponsor a school, she explained, which means the organization will provide funding for SOT in one East Volusia and two West Volusia middle schools.
Several Rotary clubs, private donations and help from TD Bank also contribute to the cause.
During the past 24 years, NCRPS has developed dozens of programs covering topics including carjacking, youth crime prevention, fire safety, substance abuse prevention and others, according to www.ncprs.org.
"SOT has been in David C. Hinson Sr. Middle School, New Smyrna Beach Middle School, Deland Middle School, and Deltona Middle School," Dr. Lemire said. "We also did a video production contest with Spruce Creek High School and brought a monster truck to Silver Sands and Heritage Middle Schools."
Volusia County School District Counseling Specialist Dr. Amy Hall said the SOT program is piloting at New Smyrna Beach Middle School.
"We have been piloting this particular program for a couple of years," Dr. Hall said. "The National Guard came in and worked in middle schools but sort of faded out. NCPRS really picked up the ball to make sure our students had a good perspective and understanding of the consequences of using drugs."
The racing theme interests the students, she said, adding the program is not too elementary and not too over their heads.
"It's developmentally appropriate," Dr. Hall said. "The lessons are fun but informative to show not only drug prevention (strategies) but life skills."
VCS likes the evidence-based nature of the program.
"We're running it through our P.E. and Health curriculum," Dr. Hall said. "It's not taking away from the curriculum because it's aligned with Common Core Standards outlined by the State of Florida."
"That, to me, says a lot," she added. "There are some great programs but there's just not enough time (in the school day). This is a very nice fit."
Dr. Hall said she would like to see the program running consistently in all schools. Funding is the key to her wish being granted.
"NCPRS has done so much to get funding," she said. "They've been a godsend."
High Octane serves a number of non-profit and governmental agencies, as well as privately owned for profit businesses including several real estate companies.
Scott Steger and his wife, Gina, provide the experience and know how, having previously operated Sierra Ink printing in South Daytona.
Eight staff members, including a full-time graphic artist, assist customers with all aspects of the printing process.