Substance Use Prevention Is A Priority In Southington

Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success (STEPS) is our community’s substance use prevention coalition.

STEPS Prevention Council
Southington Town Hall

Our Mission

STEPS makes prevention a priority in our community through education, work to limit access, and advocacy for policy change.

Our prevention work focuses on underage drinking, tobacco/vaping, cannabis/marijuana use, prescription drug misuse, and more. We believe that positive youth development is an essential building block to cultivate youth that are caring, competent, successful, and substance free.

We believe it takes a village to ensure the success of youth in our community. In Southington, our village is a collaboration between students, parents, educators, media, clergy, law enforcement, businesses, and other community stakeholders.

Our Focus on Youth

STEPS was founded in 2007 with a mission to help our youth grow up to be caring, competent and successful. We develop programs and opportunities for young people to step up and showcase their best selves.

STEPS partners with Southington Public Schools to follow an Asset Building Classrooms (ABC) model. We also have a STEPS Youth Council and a classroom-based curriculum to improve student health and safety.

Learn More
STEPS Youth Council

Our Story

STEPS programs have a track record of success for 15+ years. We are proud of the clear impact on the Southington community.

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Youth Council participants since 2008
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Student participants in our ABC program
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Pounds of unused medication collected since 2013
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Federal and state grants funds received

A Visual History of STEPS

Take a look at some of the milestone moments that helped define our vision over the past 15 years.

Preloader
  • Southington Town Hall

    Search for a Solution

    A series of youth suicides in Southington push a small group of concerned citizens to engage a community-wide coalition of all sectors of the town to research a solution.

  • STEPS Logo

    STEPS “Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success” is born

    Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success (STEPS) is born. Kelly (Berkmoes) Leppard is hired as its first Youth Prevention Coordinator.

    Four key areas of focus were identified for STEPS to focus on: tobacco and cigarettes (vaping products added later); alcohol; marijuana; and prescription medications (including opioids).

    STEPS launches biennial surveys of 7, 9, and 11 graders who attend Southington Public Schools to discover use rates, attitudes, and perceptions of substances.

  • Communities Creating Change Curriculum

    ABC Initiative is Introduced

    The first Asset Building Classroom (ABC) program is introduced in Southington Public Schools.

    The STEPS Youth Council launches.

  • STEPS Youth Council

    Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant

    STEPS secures a Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grant for five years at $125,000 per year.

  • STEPS Medication Drop Box

    Prescription Medication Drop Box

    STEPS installs a permanent Prescription Medication Drop Box at the Southington Police Department.

  • 84 Logo

    STEPS “84 Campaign”

    STEPS advocates for two new local ordinances that pass:

    • Tobacco delivery products must be placed behind the counters in all convenience stores
    • Local establishments that advertise alcohol sales must include the statement “We ID and require proof of age 21 and over.”



    STEPS secures a second Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grant for an additional five years at $125,000 per year.

  • STEPS Breathalyzer

    STEPS Purchases Breathalyzers

    STEPS purchases breathalyzers for Southington High School to deter student drinking at school dances, proms and other social gatherings.

  • STEPS Logo

    A BIG Win for STEPS

    STEPS wins Coalition of the Year from the Connecticut Association of Prevention Professionals.

    STEPS launches a PSA on vaping ingredients and their harmful effects.

  • STEPS Vaping Alcohol Prevention

    Taking Action Against Vaping and Alcohol

    STEPS is one of the first coalitions in the state to start tracking vaping incidents within high schools and middle schools and implement school policy changes for anyone caught in violation of the school tolerance policies.

    STEPS launches its own vaping intervention groups and presents to statewide groups about this initiative.

    STEPS creates and launches its own STEPS Liquor Stickers® and begins a trademark process with the UCONN School of Law.

  • STEPS Dont Trash Your Stash

    Multiple Milestones in 2019

    In October, STEPS leads an effort that results in Southington becoming the fourth municipality in Connecticut to pass Tobacco 21, which makes it law that you must be 21 to purchase tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or vaping products in Connecticut.

    STEPS launches its Don’t Trash Your Stash campaign with a local refuse company.

    STEPS launches a PSA on prescription medications.

    The town of Southington fully funds and sustains a full-time Youth Prevention Coordinator position, which shows the impact that STEPS has on the community.

  • STEPS Liquor Stickers

    STEPS Liquor Stickers® and more!

    STEPS secures the trademark for its STEPS Liquor Stickers®.

    STEPS launches a partnership with Southington Police Department to present classroom-based lessons on the risks of vaping.

    STEPS creates an idea to develop its own customized curriculum on youth prevention and safety.

  • DMHAS

    Funding and a New Team Member

    STEPS receives funding from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction services (DMHAS) through its Prevention in Connecticut Communities (PCC) grant.

    STEPS hires Kristin Sandler as its new Outreach Coordinator.

Preloader
  • Southington Town Hall

    Search for a Solution

    A series of youth suicides in Southington push a small group of concerned citizens to engage a community-wide coalition of all sectors of the town to research a solution.

  • STEPS Logo

    STEPS “Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success” is born

    Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success (STEPS) is born. Kelly (Berkmoes) Leppard is hired as its first Youth Prevention Coordinator.

    Four key areas of focus were identified for STEPS to focus on: tobacco and cigarettes (vaping products added later); alcohol; marijuana; and prescription medications (including opioids).

    STEPS launches biennial surveys of 7, 9, and 11 graders who attend Southington Public Schools to discover use rates, attitudes, and perceptions of substances.

  • Communities Creating Change Curriculum

    ABC Initiative is Introduced

    The first Asset Building Classroom (ABC) program is introduced in Southington Public Schools.

    The STEPS Youth Council launches.

  • STEPS Youth Council

    Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant

    STEPS secures a Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grant for five years at $125,000 per year.

  • STEPS Medication Drop Box

    Prescription Medication Drop Box

    STEPS installs a permanent Prescription Medication Drop Box at the Southington Police Department.

  • 84 Logo

    STEPS “84 Campaign”

    STEPS advocates for two new local ordinances that pass:

    • Tobacco delivery products must be placed behind the counters in all convenience stores
    • Local establishments that advertise alcohol sales must include the statement “We ID and require proof of age 21 and over.”



    STEPS secures a second Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grant for an additional five years at $125,000 per year.

  • STEPS Breathalyzer

    STEPS Purchases Breathalyzers

    STEPS purchases breathalyzers for Southington High School to deter student drinking at school dances, proms and other social gatherings.

  • STEPS Logo

    A BIG Win for STEPS

    STEPS wins Coalition of the Year from the Connecticut Association of Prevention Professionals.

    STEPS launches a PSA on vaping ingredients and their harmful effects.

  • STEPS Vaping Alcohol Prevention

    Taking Action Against Vaping and Alcohol

    STEPS is one of the first coalitions in the state to start tracking vaping incidents within high schools and middle schools and implement school policy changes for anyone caught in violation of the school tolerance policies.

    STEPS launches its own vaping intervention groups and presents to statewide groups about this initiative.

    STEPS creates and launches its own STEPS Liquor Stickers® and begins a trademark process with the UCONN School of Law.

  • STEPS Dont Trash Your Stash

    Multiple Milestones in 2019

    In October, STEPS leads an effort that results in Southington becoming the fourth municipality in Connecticut to pass Tobacco 21, which makes it law that you must be 21 to purchase tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or vaping products in Connecticut.

    STEPS launches its Don’t Trash Your Stash campaign with a local refuse company.

    STEPS launches a PSA on prescription medications.

    The town of Southington fully funds and sustains a full-time Youth Prevention Coordinator position, which shows the impact that STEPS has on the community.

  • STEPS Liquor Stickers

    STEPS Liquor Stickers® and more!

    STEPS secures the trademark for its STEPS Liquor Stickers®.

    STEPS launches a partnership with Southington Police Department to present classroom-based lessons on the risks of vaping.

    STEPS creates an idea to develop its own customized curriculum on youth prevention and safety.

  • DMHAS

    Funding and a New Team Member

    STEPS receives funding from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction services (DMHAS) through its Prevention in Connecticut Communities (PCC) grant.

    STEPS hires Kristin Sandler as its new Outreach Coordinator.

  Swipe left or right to view timeline 

Meet the STEPS Team

Our sustained success over 15+ years is a town-wide effort. Our STEPS staff coordinates with an Executive Committee of community stakeholders and an Advisory Board that spans all sectors of Southington.

Meet the Team
STEPS Team

Get updates from STEPS

Stay informed about our latest prevention efforts, news, and events.


Meet the Advisory Board

Learn more about the multisector group of leaders from across Southington that help guide our work.

View Advisory Board
STEPS Advisory Board
STEPS Youth Council

STEPS Youth Council

The STEPS Youth Council is a group of Southington students that ranges from grades 7 through 12. They work together on projects in substance use prevention in our schools and the wider community.

The Youth Council application period is May-June.

Follow us on Instagram for updates.

Learn More About STEPS YOUTH COUNCIL

STEPS Meeting Information

STEPS holds meetings every month. All sectors of the community are welcome. This includes business owners, students, parents, elected officials, and other community members. Get involved, share your ideas, and help us keep Southington healthy and safe.

VIEW MEETING MINUTES
STEPS Logo