SARTELL -- Trying to keep kids from ever using in the first place is the aim of the Sartell-St. Stephen Drug-Free Coalition, an aim they hope hits home in 2019.

The group was first founded back in 2016, however, membership has been spotty, and this year, they're focusing on making sure their mission and group is stable.

School Board Member Lesa Kramer heads up the coalition for the district. She says the group is around to help both students and their parents.

"Our group is really to support our students in their endeavors to be drug-free. And we also want to educate our parents, so they can help their students also."

Kramer says the new sheriff for Stearns County is one of the people who've kept the group going.

"Sheriff Steve Soyka is very involved in our group. He has been from the beginning, whenever our group [the coalition] lost steam, he's worked to keep it going."

The coalition's meetings usually bring in presenters on different health topics. Vaping, e-cigarettes, text for help and prescription medications have all been topics. They even have demonstrations on things like police dog school-searches.

Kramer says they hope to add more support for students, including growing to include a presence in the middle school as well as the high school.

The coalition has a meeting Tuesday, from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room at the middle school.

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