On June 9th several families, friends and Oswego City School District (OCSD) teachers and principals gathered at Fitzhugh Park Elementary School in order to celebrate a special event…FAST Graduation. Several elementary school students and their families received diplomas during FAST graduation which were presented by several OCSD principals.
Families and Schools Together or FAST is a voluntary/universal program, implemented through the County of Oswego Council on Alcoholism and Addictions, Inc. (COCOAA) that is held in three separate eight week cycles every school year. Children in grades 2-6 who attend elementary school in the Oswego City School District are eligible to participate with their entire family. The program is based at Fitzhugh Park Elementary School which is a Certified FAST site through Families and Schools Together, Inc. Following graduation, FAST participants qualify to participate in the FASTWORKS program which allows them to enjoy a community event on a monthly basis, free of charge.
During an evening at FAST, families enjoy a meal together, participate in table-based activities, and children participate in Kid’s Time while parent group is being held for the adults. Transportation and child care are available for FAST are also available at no charge. The FAST team is a collaboration of employees from the Prevention Department at COCOAA, the OCSD and the Oswego Family YMCA.
FAST is a school-based prevention program that promotes parent involvement in order to build strong parent-child, parent-parent, parent-school and family-community relationships and communication. Long term goals of the FAST program include the reduction of alcohol and drug abuse, the reduction of child abuse and neglect along with the reduction of delinquency issues while increasing academic success.
The FAST program is funded by a NYS SDPP grant through the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, as well as monies through the Oswego City School District, NYS OASAS, the United Way and COCOAA.
Recruitment for the fall 2011 cycle of FAST will begin in September 2011. For additional information about the Families and Schools Together Program please contact Tammy Rodgers, FAST/Community Education Coordinator at (COCOAA) at 342-2370.