(Phoenix, Ariz. – February 1, 2005) Attorney General Terry Goddard today was named the Boys & Girls Clubs Arizona Alliance Champion for Kids and announced new steps to protect kids and combat the use of methamphetamines.
Former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore joined Goddard and Boys & Girls Clubs Arizona Alliance Board members to recognize the strides Boys & Girls Clubs of America have made on a national level to reduce drug and alcohol use among children.
“I am honored to serve as the Champion for kids,” Goddard said. “I welcome the opportunity to build on a successful partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arizona, and launch new initiatives to protect Arizona children.”
Goddard is working with legislators and a broad coalition of law enforcement, children advocates, firefighters and neighborhood activists to adopt a new law to make methamphetamine production more difficult by moving chemicals used by criminals to make meth behind the pharmacy counter. The goal of the legislation, sponsored by Rep. Tom O’Halleran, is to reduce meth cooking in Arizona, begin a coordinated education effort on the dangers of meth, and update existing laws governing remediation and child abuse.
“Meth is the number one illegal drug contributing to violent crime in Arizona, and the more we do to prevent the use and production of meth, the more we make our neighborhoods safer places to live,” O’Halleran said.
In addition to this effort, Goddard will host a Meth Summit for Western States Attorneys General on February 24. The purpose of the Summit will be to focus on the find the best approaches to curtail the manufacture, distribution, and use of meth. Treatment and prosecution will also be discussed at the meeting.
Internet Safety education will continue to be a primary focus of the successful partnership between Goddard and the Boys & Girls Clubs in Arizona. The Attorney General will continue to promote Internet safety to parents and kids through Web sites, forums and the media in collaboration with the Boys & Girls Clubs Arizona Alliance, NetSmartz and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“Arizona’s Boys & Girls Clubs are doing a great job keeping kids on the right track and out of trouble,” Goddard said. “Kids have fun, learn new skills, play sports and games, do homework and make friends in a safe environment supervised by people who care about them. I am impressed with the Boys & Girls Clubs’ efforts to reach out to kids who might need extra encouragement or support, such as children living with foster parents or whose parents are serving in the armed forces in Iraq.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs Arizona Alliance, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and state and local Law Enforcement agencies are working together to fight meth use, particularly as it affects children’s lives. The Alliance has developed a comprehensive curriculum called SMART Moves. This prevention program addresses the problems of alcohol, tobacco, teen pregnancy and meth and other drug use.
“It is our hope that the State of Arizona will be a partner in implementing SMART Moves programs in every Arizona community, including all the military installations in the state,” said Olivia Brusso McCormick, President of the Boys & Girls Clubs Arizona Alliance.
The SMART Moves program components include:
- Drug Prevention that empowers at-risk youth to make healthy decisions regarding illicit drugs based on proven research and targeted at youth 6-16 years of age;
- Character and leadership development that empowers youth to support their community, develop a positive self-image, participate in the democratic process, and respect their own and others’ cultural identities;
- Health and Life Skills that develop young peoples’ capacity to engage in positive behaviors, set goals, and live successfully as self-sufficient adults;
- Education and career development that enables youth to become proficient in educational disciplines, apply learning to everyday situations, and embrace technology to achieve success in a career.