Covington Partners in Prevention

Since 1999, Covington Partners in Prevention has been working to promote positive youth development in collaboration with schools of Covington. The organization began with a focus on preventing youth substance abuse and violence. In 2001 Covington Partners in Prevention expanded its scope to include mental and physical health promotion, family strengthening, and staff training and support. Every aspect of the organization’s work is centered on supporting the children of Covington by increasing student achievement and attendance and by decreasing school behavior referrals and student drug use. These efforts are driven by current data and are evaluated annually.

One clear example of success is the Covington Mentoring Program. In Covington Independent Public Schools many students do not stay in the same school from grade to grade, yet students who do stay in the same school do better academically. Data show that when Covington students have mentors, they are more likely to stay at the same school. Of students in grade 6 who had mentors, 87 percent stayed at the same school for grade 7, compared with 73 percent from the general population. Additionally, after students were matched with mentors, both absences and discipline not only stopped getting worse, they reversed. Trends in absences were showing a 125 percent increase before the mentor match was made; after students had mentors, the trends showed a decrease of 31 percent. Trends in discipline referrals showed a 71 percent increase before the match; after the match, they went down by 71 percent.

Additionally, 10 years of annual surveys that measure the effects of Covington Partners in Prevention reflect declines in reports of youth use of alcohol, marijuana and tobacco. Among 12th grade students, the percent of students who reported using cigarettes in the past 30 days decreased from 54 percent to 29 percent; students who reported using alcohol in the past 30 days went from 46 percent to 30 percent; and the percent of students who reported using marijuana in the past 30 days went from 31 percent to 26 percent.