PDFNJ and PSEG Foundation Bring Substance Use Prevention Efforts to the Classroom



Contact: Matt Birchenough, matt@drugfreenj.org, 201-916-1032

PDFNJ and PSEG Foundation Bring Substance Use Prevention Efforts to the Classroom

PATERSON — The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and the PSEG Foundation have collaborated to send a message to 35,000 young New Jersey students across the state on the importance of healthy choices through the annual Third Grade Life Choices Coloring and Activity Book.

Representatives from PDFNJ and the PSEG Foundation commemorated another year of this important program by delivering the booklets to students at Public School No. 27 in Paterson on Tuesday morning.

The activity book contains a contract for students to sign to commit to a healthy lifestyle and other fun prevention education activities. It is supported by a grant from the PSEG Foundation, and has been distributed to close to 400 classrooms throughout the state to educate young students about the importance of living a healthy life free of substance use.

“The Third Grade Life Choices and Activity Book provides students information and encouragement to make healthy decisions,” said PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente. “Educating our youth with age-appropriate messages to prevent the misuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in communities and schools is an ongoing effort, and the earlier we start the better.”

Recent studies suggest research-based, age-appropriate prevention materials have had a positive impact as alcohol, tobacco and substance use has decreased among American teenagers in grades 8, 10 and 12.

Third grade students at Paterson Public School No. 27 show off the Third Grade Life Choices and Activity Books they received Tuesday morning. They are joined by, from left, PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente, school social worker Apryl Sneed, Paterson Public Schools Superintendent Eileen Shafer, Maria Spina of the PSEG Foundation and third grade teacher Ruth Ferraro.

“PSEG is committed to supporting the communities we serve — including the young people in those communities. We believe strongly in the good work of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and are proud to partner with them to help communicate the importance of making smart decisions at any age,” said Maria Spina, Manager, PSEG Foundation.

By distributing the activity book and contract through schools, PDFNJ and the PSEG Foundation recognize the key role educators play in informing New Jersey youth about the dangers of substance use and misuse. To highlight the role, the activity book contract will be signed by parents and school representatives.

“The books provide students with hands-on activities that promote a healthy lifestyle and teach them important lessons,” said Paterson Public Schools Superintendent Eileen Shafer. “It is never too early to teach our children about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, and the contract and activity book help to involve educators and parents along with our students.”

“The prevention efforts of family members and the educational system are as vital to the mission of this program as the students’ commitment to live drug-free,” Valente added. “Parents and caregivers provide the guidance and emotional support to steer their children toward healthier life choices, while schools educate students on the positives of healthy living and the consequences of substance use.”




About the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey

Best known for its statewide anti-drug advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication. To date, more than $200 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history. Since its inception the Partnership has garnered 166 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.

About the PSEG Foundation

The PSEG Foundation (501(c)(3)), the philanthropic arm of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), prioritizes investments in promoting environmental sustainability, social justice, and equity and economic empowerment. Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, PSEG is a predominantly regulated infrastructure company focused on a clean energy future. Guided by its Powering Progress vision, PSEG aims to power a future where people use less energy, and it's cleaner, safer and delivered more reliably than ever. PSEG's commitment to ESG and sustainability is demonstrated in our net-zero 2030 climate vision and participation in the U.N. Race to Zero, as well as our inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and the list of America's most JUST Companies. PSEG's businesses include Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), PSEG Power and PSEG Long Island. (https://corporate.pseg.com).