Community Coalitions

The Safe & Healthy Schools Dept. provides staff support for two coalitions within the CESA 5 region. "A community coalition can be a powerful vehicle for engaging community members in improving health, education, public safety, economic development, etc. There is no single, standard definition of a community coalition. We define a community coalition as a group of individuals and organizations from a community who have come together to pursue goals aimed at bettering the community" (Community Health Innovation). Research is now indicating that one of the most effective ways to change the culture of a community is through coalition work and specifically environmental strategies. For environmental strategies, think of it like this - instead of ONLY teaching the child to swim (a skill), we must ALSO make sure that they are not swimming in polluted waters. These environmental strategies focus on informal policy (parent network, parental boundaries, etc.) and formal policy (alcohol licensing procedures, social host ordinances, alcohol density limits, etc.).

Two resources specific to assist coalitions can be accessed at:
CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America)

For examples of the research on Best Practice for community coalitions, go to 

Social Host Ordinance Information - this information is probably most understandable to a city attorney or corporation counsel.  Gives all the legal information needed for adopting social host ordinances.  This is currently one of the environmental strategies that many coalitions in the state are working on.  

For more information on this essential component for reducing underage drinking and other high risk behaviors, contact the Safe & Healthy Schools Dept.  

The first coalition supported by CESA 5 staff is Columbia County Connects.  We have been supporting this coalition for more than 10 years.  The funding for this coalition comes from Columbia Co. Dept. of Health & Human Services as well as a DPI consortia grant.  

For more information on the work of this coalition, go to it's website at: 

The department also provides staff support for the Marquette County Healthy Communities Healthy Youth (HCHY), a Drug-Free Community funded coalition.  

For more information on Marquette County's Healthy Communities-Healthy Youth coalition, go to their website at: