Dear PICT Grads and Friends,
It is with great sadness that I write to say that PICT has shut down after 30 years and 17 days of service to the youth and families of the Richmond Community Schools service area. Lack of funding to continue is the reason.
We can look with pride on many things. We had over 137,500 instances of documented service. We had outcomes with Protecting You/Protecting Me for 5 years, sometimes reaching 1000 children per year, that were better than the test group of 10,000 children in Texas. We have 784+ trained PICT Peer Helpers who meet or exceed the National Association of Peer Program Professionals (NAPPP) training standards. We have been honored as an "IN Exemplary Youth Organization" (Lilly Endowment, 1987); "Lilly Organizational Renewal Program" (Lilly Endowment, 1988); "President's Volunteer Action Group" (1991); "Governor's Volunteer Action Group" (1991); Youth Service America "Healthy Living and Prevention Award" recipient (1999); NAPPP "2002 Peer Program of the Year;" first "NAPPP Certified Peer Program" (2002); first recipient of "IN Governors Award for Volunteerism and Community Service" (2006).
We conducted RHS blood drives that became the largest ones in Wayne County, collecting over 2000 pints. We were the prime youth organization combating impaired and distracted driving. We promoted respect for all through Mix It Up At Lunch and No Name Calling Week activities.
We delivered proven strategy risk-taking prevention and health promotion to children at high risk of abuse, neglect, pregnancy, violence, early school failure, exploitation, dropout, and substance abuse in the Richmond Community Schools each year. Research has shown that even at the lowest “dose” levels, prevention messages conveyed well by positive role model peers has a more than double the impact of messages conveyed by adults. That's why PICT came into being January 2, 1986. And our outcomes have exceeded EVERYBODY's expectations!!!
1 Alaskan and 5 nearby school corporations were trained to implement appropriate adaptations of PICT, and they are still operating.
Good news is that PICT's material things are being donated to a newly forming peer helper program in Kendallville that is being structured according to NAPPP Standards and Ethics. The advisor has already been trained and certified as a Certified Peer Program Educator (CPPE). It is expected that the program (name yet to be chosen by the peer helpers in training) will achieve Certified Peer Program (CPP) status after a year of documented service by May of 2017.
I will transport the training, activity, presentation, etc., materials to the new peer helpers and their advisor soon. Many of you will be very happy to know that Turnip, Berry, and Bean will have a new home with new and very enthusiastic brothers and sisters.
We need to remember our days with PICT with great pride and a sense of great accomplishment!!! All service letters from 1986--May 31, 2013, are in my PICT files, so feel free to email or text or Facebook Message to ask for a reference anytime.
We really accomplished "Helping Others Help Themselves"!!! Be very proud of that!!!
PS Remember -- you are on duty the rest of your lives!!! :0