Clear Alliance moves to Prineville
CLEAR Alliance, an Oregon nonprofit, recently occupied a new office space at 247 N. Main St., in the location of the oldest of three historic buildings in downtown Prineville.
The office space and the building that was once home to First National Bank and Bank Drug has recently been renovated. CLEAR Alliance is located between Edward Jones and Prineville Men's Wear.
"We have risen to the occasion to adjust the delivery of our educational programs in order to increase outreach," said John Trumbo, board president of CLEAR Alliance. "We aim to be good stewards of our funds, and it became apparent that CLEAR Alliance could more efficiently serve and expand to local, state and national audiences with fewer overhead costs being spent on a larger office space."
He went on to say that CLEAR Alliance, which stands for Children Learning through Education And Research,
is entering its next chapter in Crook County, which has been a welcoming and supportive local community partner throughout the years. They are visible and work with staff in the middle and high schools at Crook County School District.
"We are excited to have CLEAR Alliance in the historic bank building in Prineville," said Tanney Staffenson, owner and landlord of the building that houses CLEAR Alliance.
Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kim Daniels agreed.
"We have seen several businesses either move to or open up in Crook County in the past year. It is wonderful to have a statewide organization like CLEAR Alliance move into Prineville and make one of the previously empty downtown spaces their new home. Not only do they provide valuable educational resources and trainings, but they also bring job and youth internship opportunities to Crook County," Daniels emphasized.
CLEAR Alliance began and was incorporated in 2015. Their founding board of directors included Judge Gary Thompson of Prineville, Sheriff John Trumbo from Pendleton, and Prevention Specialist Connie Ramaekers from Tigard.
"It's public service from different facets coming together," commented CLEAR Alliance Executive Director Mandy Puckett.
The current board is a diverse group of professionals who come at the issues with a wide breadth and scope of experience.
She added that they take feedback from the public in finding out where the gaps and needs are and helping to fill those gaps.
"We have six board directors, but the three of them were our founders with me. We started it in Redmond, and it's a statewide nonprofit. We got our start in Redmond in my home," noted Puckett.
Puckett was raised in Prineville until middle school when her father, who was a state policeman, was transferred to Bend. She is married to her childhood sweetheart, Jeremy Puckett. With her husband's job, they have lived in several parts of Central Oregon, making their way back to the Powell Butte.
"Prineville has always been my home," she emphasized.
She added that since they started in 2015, the organization has continued to grow. The Oregon Sheriff's Association gave them the seed money to start, and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program was the first grant funder after the Sheriff's Association provided seed money.
"We are a diverse group of public health and public safety partners that formed CLEAR Alliance as a nonprofit, because we didn't want education to go away," explained Puckett. "Sometimes political issues can try to silence education, and we didn't want that to happen. We wanted there to be a place where youth could get education, parents could get education, schools, law enforcement, public service partners—people that serve people, youth and parents to be a place that wasn't going to be affected by politics. It was just going to be facts and provide those facts so our youth can make good decisions."
Puckett emphasized that they go into schools to have students share their opinions on "what they need to know, what do you feel like you need to learn more about." As they formed their educational program, they went to schoolteachers, law enforcement and school resource officers, and doctors to ask them what they are seeing and what needs to be addressed.
This is the first time that CLEAR Alliance has been housed in Prineville, and in light of the pandemic, the move will enable the growing statewide nonprofit organization to more efficiently serve its mission to provide fact-based education about the consequences of substance abuse and impaired driving to youth and adults through collaboration work across Oregon and beyond.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely impacted businesses, which has changed the way many agencies work and provide services to the public," said Puckett. "Over the past 12 months, CLEAR Alliance has made adjustments to provide educational services in a more versatile manner. This includes serving in-person from the office, remotely online from home, and offering 'live' trainings and meetings through video-conferencing technology in order to serve communities 'live' at their own sites."
Originally, CLEAR Alliance worked in partnership with the Redmond School District and High Desert Education District through a coalition called the Redmond Area Community Coalition. The coalition developed and piloted tests for substance abuse and impaired driving education programs in Redmond and HDESD schools and driver education programs to address local needs of youth, parents and youth-serving organizations. The educational work soon expanded to serve all 36 counties in Oregon through CLEAR Alliance's Oregon Statewide Coalition. It now has the opportunity to expand its reach to a national audience through states such as Virginia, Washington and the U.S. territory of Guam.
"It's pretty cool to see the educational work our local coalition has worked so hard to develop and improve over the past six years," added Puckett.
They celebrated their sixth-year anniversary on Jan. 27 by launching their newly adapted Tobacco, Marijuana and E-cigarette Course (TMEC), into an animated video curriculum. TMEC, a health, safety and impaired driving education program, was redesigned during the pandemic in order for students and instructors to be able to access the education—whether in-person or online. The curriculum is geared toward teens, parents, community members and public-service personnel.
CLEAR Alliance also provides trainings to instructors for their TMEC curriculum, which was developed by Certified Prevention Specialists in partnership with schools, law enforcement, and treatment and medical providers in Oregon to educate youth and adults (ages 13 and above) about the consequences of substance abuse and impaired driving.
For a short demo of the three-hour TMEC and 90-minute TMEC for Driver Education, go to www.clearalliance.org.
Address: 247 N. Main St., Prineville
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