From the Alameda County Office of Education
Castro Valley's middle schools and high school will be the recipients of a California Department of Education grant to reduce the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, county education officials said.
The $362,812 grant will be shared among Berkeley and Castro Valley schools and will supplement county funding for the Tobacco Use Prevention Program, which aims to reach youth during a critical window.
The average age that an adult smoker begins using tobacco is 13, and 90 percent of adult smokers pick up a cigarette before age 18, said Sheila Jordan, Superintendent of Alameda County Schools.
"We are pleased that we are able to provide this critical support for our students at a time when so many crucial funds for programs like service learning, civic engagement, and gang prevention are diminishing and disappearing,” she said.
The program also serves Dublin, Livermore, Newark, San Leandro and San Lorenzo.