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The Bernards Township Smoking and Tobacco Organization Program

In 1989, the Bernards Township Health Department responded to legislation requiring public school buildings to be smoke-free by developing a tobacco education program for students in violation of the state law. This alternative to out-of-school suspension guides students through an evaluation of their own tobacco use patterns while familiarizing them with tools for smoking cessation. The program seeks to move students in a pre-contemplative state toward contemplation, contemplative students toward a first quit attempt, and those who have previously attempted to quit toward continued abstinence.

Building Youth

Building Youth is an initiative for positive community change headed by the Bernards Township Health Department and Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse. The Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets TM form the framework of the Building Youth movement because these positive experiences and qualities are proven to help raise healthy and successful young people.

Girls On Track 

Girls On Track® is a 501(c)3 positive youth development program which combines an interactive curriculum and running to inspire self-respect and healthy lifestyles in pre-teen girls. The core curriculum addresses many aspects of girls’ development - their physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. Lessons provide girls with the tools to make positive decisions and to avoid risky adolescent behaviors.

Girls on Track takes place from March - June at William Annin Middle School.

For more information about Girls On Track, contact the Bernards Township Health Department at (908) 204-2523 or e-mail:

Neighborhood Coffees

Neighborhood Coffees is a nationally award-winning initiative that brings neighbors together to discuss the roles adults play in helping today's youth successfully negotiate the difficult challenges of everyday life. These forums create opportunities for dialogue between adults and young people, and create supportive relationships throughout neighborhoods in Bernards Township. Simply put, they bring folks together to meet each other, share their wisdom and experiences, and talk about ways to help to make Bernards Township a better place to live.

The Neighborhood Coffees program was developed by the Bernards Township Health Department in collaboration with the Municipal Alliance to deliberately promote the health and well-being of all people in the community through dialogue about the salient social issues that they face. Specifically, the program has three main objectives:

  • • To foster supportive relationships in neighborhoods throughout the community;
  • • To encourage productive dialogue between adults and teens; and
  • • To present a unified language that all residents can use to promote a healthy, nurturing community for all young people.


The Lindsay Meyer Teen Institute & Ridge Against Drugs

The LMTI Summer Leadership Conference kicks off with a five-day Summer Leadership Conference at YMCA Camp Ralph Mason in Hardwick, NJ. Throughout the week, participants hear from dynamic speakers and work with others to gain the tools necessary to develop and successfully implement peer-focused prevention strategies to reduce the risk factors associated with substance abuse in their communities.

The program continues over the following ten months with RAD, as students work together over the school year to implement prevention activities in Bernards Township.You may know them from the Teen Volunteer Fair, Youth Summit Day, DARE Letter Writing Campaign, and Sticker Campaign! Look out for RAAD in Bernards Township.

Twilight Challenge

The Pleasant Valley Twilight Challenge 5K To Prevent Underage Drinking n is an annual event that has been held on the first Sunday of June for over 25

years. Along with more than 100 5K runners in past years, the public can participate in the One-Mile Health Walk and the children’s Lollipop Loop. The event is sponsored by the

Municipal Alliance and the Bernards Township Health Department.

For more information about this exciting event please call the Bernards Township Health Department at (908) 204–2523 or email

Youth Summit

The annual "Choices & Decisions – Living Up To Your Potential”  Youth Summit Day, are two half-day conferences for 8th grade students at William Annin Middle Schooll. The purpose of the Youth Summit is to provide a forum to discuss the issues that young people are faced with every day. The goal is to provide students with the information, resources, and inspiration to assist them to make positive decisions now and later in their lives. The program is in the format of a professional conference with dynamic motivational speakers followed by breakout sessions, and small group discussions.

For information about the 2015 Youth Summit please contact the Bernards Township Health Department at: (908) 204-2523 or e-mail:

Project Graduation

Project Graduation is a year-long series of activities which provides drug and alcohol-free events and promotes class cohesiveness for Ridge High School Seniors. Culminating in June is "The BASH" -- an all-night drug and alcohol-free graduation celebration that is supervised by school personnel, parents, and community volunteers. Project Graduation first began in Bernards Township in 1986 because of the many local tragedies associated with drinking and driving on graduation night. The program was created as an alternative to the post-graduation parties that brought so much concern and grief to families in our community. Because of Project Graduation, local parents sleep better on graduation night, knowing that their children are in a safe place.

The Bernards Township SCOP Team (pronounced "scope") oversees the program. The SCOP Team (State Community Organization Program) is a committee that includes representation from parents, school administration, school faculty, police, local clergy and the health department.

The major activities organized by the SCOP Team include:

  • • Senior tailgate party / Senior night
  • • Senior breakfast
  • • Market day fundraiser
  • • Poinsettia fundraiser
  • • Mystery bus ride
  • • 100-Day countdown to graduation celebration
  • • Alcohol education assembly
  • • Ice cream social
  • • The graduation night BASH

For information about Project Graduation please contact the Bernards Township Health Department at: (908) 204-2523 or e-mail: