Municipal Alliance gets county grant

Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse distibutes $6,566 grant to the Cranbury Municipal Alliance.

By: Matthew Kirdahy
   The township recently received a $6,566 grant from the county to help fund the Municipal Alliance.
   Joan Rue, interim Municipal Alliance chairwoman, said the grant came from the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. The state funded the grant when it set aside $800,000 for municipalities in Middlesex County that have programs similar to that of the alliance.
   The county distributes the annual grants based on the population of the municipality. This year the township budgeted $15,235 to fund the alliance.
   The Cranbury Municipal Alliance is approximately a 10-member group including residents and volunteers from the Board of Education, Cranbury police and Township Committee. Ms. Rue said its goal is to address and meet the needs of teenagers wile educating parents aout those needs.
   "In the last three years, our emphasis has also been to try to educate adults about the problems of alcohol and drug abuse, but more importantly how to better communicate with their adolescent," Ms. Rue said. "The transition time into high school has proven to be the time when a lot of adolescents are ready to challenge their parents, society and life in general."
   The next alliance meeting will be in the Cranbury School large group instruction room at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19. Residents are welcome.
   "The opportunity is for parents to hear from professionals about what kinds of things they can expect from their teenager," Ms. Rue said. "Through this process, along with programs, we can entice others to consider joining us. Every committee needs new blood and a fresh perspective on things."
   The alliance hosts a series of discussions and programs throughout the year. Coming this spring, it will partner with the school as it has in the past in the Drug Free Fair. The townshipwide event was held in May last year, but there is no set date for this year’s event.
   Ms. Rue said the alliance wants more community input on what would benefit the youth of Cranbury.
   "The meeting is for folks who are involved with young people in athletics, people in churches as well as some school contacts and other interested parties," Ms. Rue said. "It’s for folks who feel they are working with young people and can give us perspective as to what they think they see. It is our hope to conduct a survey to see what they perceive as their biggest challenge and some of the adolescents’ needs and how we can meet them."