is an international alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...
and other drug use prevention program focusing on leadership development to empower youth to lead drug-free lives. The name originates from the idea that “If I have a positive impact on you, you can have a positive impact on someone else and the effect snowballs.” Out of this concept emerges “A Community of Caring” - the success of Operation Snowball.
Funded in part by the Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...
Department of Human Services, and governed by an elected board of directors, Operation Snowball is founded on the belief that youth and adults can make responsible and healthy decisions when provided with factual information and an opportunity to develop an understanding of one’s self and motivations.
The program provides opportunities for youth and adults to work together in a spirit of cooperation to plan, implement and evaluate a community-based alcohol and other drug prevention program.
Operation Snowball, Inc. believes that the use of alcohol and other drugs during the teen years can be devastating to physical, social and emotional growth. Through the Operation Snowball program, youth learn that it is OK to say no to alcohol and other drugs. Students also learn that they are not alone in their decision to stay drug and alcohol free.
Operation Snowball creates an environment in your community that actively supports the decision of youth not to use alcohol and other drugs. Operation Snowball believes that youth are our most important resource and, rather than being part of the problem, our youth are at the heart of the solution. Together youth and adults can implement comprehensive prevention programs that are effective. It is this youth and adult partnership that makes Operation Snowball so unique and exciting.
Operation Snowball also focuses on aiding teens in social issues that may arise in relationships with friends or family. Snowball offers a support system that teaches teens coping skills that will help them resolve problems, both common and unique, with friends and family.
A Comprehensive Prevention Program
Operation Snowball is a comprehensive program that:
- Includes alcohol and other drug information, responsible decision making skills, opportunities to enhance self esteem, refusal skills, positive peer support, drug-free alternatives, leadership development, and much more.
- Gives a clear message to youth and adults that it is OK to say no to alcohol and other drugs.
- Is flexible and can be adapted to any community or school setting. The model fosters youth/adult partnerships that make it ideal for community involvement and builds “A Community of Caring”.
- Puts to use the powerful energy and influence of youth to create an atmosphere of positive peer support that make it easier not to use alcohol and other drugs.
- Is unique because it recognizes youth as a part of the solution not the cause of the problem, thereby allowing them to learn and practice responsibility and leadership and be agents of community change.
Operation Snowball is a prevention program and does not provide individual or group treatment. (Operation Snowball does require that youth choosing to serve in active leadership roles make a commitment to lead a drug and alcohol free lifestyle.)
Operation Snowball has two types of chapters - school-based and community-based. Operation Snowball includes the following program models:
- Operation Snowflurry, Preschool and elementary age youth
- Operation Snowflake, Middle school and junior high school age youth
- Operation Snowball, High school age youth
- Operation Segue, young adults age 18–24
- Operation Blizzard, Families and adults
- Operation Snowcap, Senior citizens
Each program model focuses on the issues resulting from alcohol and other drug use and abuse in a manner appropriate for each age group. The concept of cross-age teaching and peer helping is an integral part of the Operation Snowball program. The programs follow the same principles and guidelines that may include the following:
Through the development of leadership skills, Operation Snowball shall be a youth and adult partnership, providing awareness and prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, while encouraging healthy decision-making in an active community of caring.
- Weekly meetings
- Weekend retreats
- Drug-free alternative activities
- Opportunities to be a peer role model and to experience working with adults in a cooperative atmosphere
- Opportunities to develop special events that fit the needs of your community
- Opportunities to get involved with other programs and events in your community
United States Chapters
- Champaign County
- District 113
- District 205 (Elmhurst, IL)
- District 230 (www.d230.org)(Orland Park, IL)
- Dunlap High School 323
- East Peoria
- Effingham County
- Elmwood Park High School (Illinois)
- Greater Fox River Valley
- Green Bay Area Public School District
The Green Bay Area Public School District is the school district serving Green Bay, Wisconsin. The district was founded in 1856, with the founding of the first public school, Sale School. Sale School has since been demolished. The current total enrollment is 19,709...
- Havana High School (Illinois)
- Homewood-Flossmoor High School
Homewood-Flossmoor High School is a public high school in Flossmoor, Illinois, in the Chicago metropolitan area. The majority of HF students live in Flossmoor and nearby Homewood, but the school also serves areas of Olympia Fields, Chicago Heights, Glenwood, and Hazel Crest serving school...
- Joliet Central High School
Joliet Central High School is a public secondary school located in Joliet, Illinois. Central is part of Joliet Township High Schools, along with Joliet West and Joliet East . Prior to the opening of Joliet East and West, the school was called Joliet Township High School...
- Joliet West High School
Joliet West High School, along with Joliet Central, makes up district 204 Joliet Township High School district in Joliet, Illinois. West's mascot is the Tiger...
- Lyons Township High School
- Marian Catholic High School
- New Trier/Regina High Schools
- Northwest Illinois
- Oak Park River Forest
- Peoria Notre Dame
- Ridgewood High School (Illinois)
Ridgewood High School, or RHS, is a public four-year high school located in Norridge, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States...
- Rich South High School
Rich South High School or RSHS, is a public four-year high school located in Richton Park, Illinois, a southern suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. The Rich South Campus serves the cities of Matteson, Park Forest, Richton Park, Olympia Fields & University Park...
- Rich East High School
Rich East High School or REHS, is a public four-year high school located in Park Forest, Illinois, a southern suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. The Rich East Campus serves the cities of Park Forest, Matteson,Olympia Fields,Chicago Heights, & Richton Park...
- Rich Central High School
Rich Central High School or RCHS, is a public four-year high school located in Olympia Fields, Illinois, a southern suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. The Rich Central Campus serves the cities of Olympia Fields, Matteson, Richton Park,...
- Adlai E. Stevenson High School
- District 99 (Downers Grove)
- Peoria Richwoods
- Tinley Park High School
Tinley Park High School, TPHS or simply Tinley is a public high school located in Tinley Park, Illinois, approximately 30 miles southwest of Chicago...
- Kazlų Rūda
History of Operation Snowball
Operation Snowball started in 1977 in Rockford
Rockford is a mid-sized city located on both banks of the Rock River in far northern Illinois. Often referred to as "The Forest City", Rockford is the county seat of Winnebago County, Illinois, USA. As reported in the 2010 U.S. census, the city was home to 152,871 people, the third most populated...
youth and adults who attended the Illinois Teenage Institute on Substance Abuse (ITI) sponsored by the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association (IADD). It was created with the theory when a person affects another in a positive way, they would go on to positively affect someone else, creating a "snowball" effect. Its founders wanted to start a prevention program for youth, where they would learn leadership skills. From its inception, Operation Snowball was planned and directed by teens/youth, with adults serving primarily advisory roles. Within a few years, Operation Snowball chapters began to be organized around the state of Illinois. At first the program was only targeted to high school students, but later expanded to include elementary schools(Operation Snowflurry) and junior high schools (Operation Snowflake).
Participants of Snowball say they:
- developed friendships
- were able to give and receive support and caring
- talked about problems
- shared ideas and feelings
- felt a positive, supportive atmosphere
- had a lot of fun
- could speak without fear of rejection
- were "glad" they came to Retreat
- would "recommend" the Retreat to their friends
- Overcame difficult obstacles facing them