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Story and photos by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, N.J. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Jennifer Sbarro answers a student's question during the Stay on Track presentation at Memorial Upper Middle School, Willingboro on Jan. 28.

Besnik Ahmetaj, center, Head of the Sector for Control of the Territory and Service to Third Parties - (community policing), Albanian Police Headquarters observes Pfc. James Kube, left, during a Stay on Track presentation at Memorial Upper Middle School.
Senior members of the Republic of Albania's Department of Education and National Police observed the New Jersey National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force's Drug Education Team perform their Stay on Track presentation at Memorial Upper Middle School, Willingboro, on Jan. 28.

The delegation came to New Jersey to study the Drug Education program from Jan. 25 to the 29. Albania is implementing a similar program to educate Albanian children on the hazards of drug abuse.

Stay on Track is a comprehensive approach to substance abuse prevention composed of 45 minute interactive lessons in classrooms, after-school and other youth settings. The research-based curriculum, which is sponsored by the National Guard, is designed for classroom implementation by National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, as well as teachers, administrators and guidance counselors for middle school students.

The Stay on Track program was initially piloted in the 2006-2007 school year in eleven states. Since then, it has grown to include 49 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

Using motorsports as a theme, Stay on Track provides students with lessons teaching the problems of drug abuse, the effects of different drugs, and the effect of drug abuse on one's ability to function effectively. Other issues addressed are health, decision-making, communication, refusal skills, teamwork and peer and media infl uences. Students are encouraged to work on the activities at home and discuss the lessons with their parents or guardians.

It's all about staying on track.


Top of their field

Col. Robert C. Bolton, center, 177th Fighter Wing Commander, presents Staff Sgt. Rusty L. Litterer, left, and Tech. Sgt Anna C. Ayars, right, of the 177th Legal Offi ce the Chief Master Sergeant Larry E. Councilman Award for Outstanding Air National Guard Paralegal of the Year for 2009 and 2008 respectively. This is the fi rst time that paralegals from the same unit have received the award in successive years. During this period, with new judge advocates, Ayars and Litterer, both assuming roles that far exceeded those normally expected of their career fi elds, acted as the law offi ce supervisor and maintained the continuity and quality of legal service by ensuring that hundreds of legal documents were prepared and that many others received the assistance they needed. In addition, they both contributed to a successful Unit Compliance Inspection, Operational Readiness Inspection and Air Expeditionary Force rotation. U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Shawn Mildren, 177FW/PA.

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Volume 35 Number 1 Staff / Information
(c) 2010 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs