‘It’s time to talk’

School dis­trict to spon­sor drug abuse pro­gram for par­ents

The Boyertown Area Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Har­ri­son Otto hotto@berksmont­news.com

Lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions have come to­gether to tackle tough ques­tions fac­ing par­ents.

The Boy­er­town Area School Dis­trict (BASD) will be spon­sor­ing a “Time to Talk” pro­gram cre­ated by the Coun­cil on Chem­i­cal Abuse (COCA) for par­ents on how to talk to their chil­dren about drugs.

Preven­tion ex­perts will be com­ing to the Boy­er­town Multi-Ser­vice Cen­ter on Thurs­day, March 1, to meet with par­ents and dis­cuss when and how to start the con­ver­sa­tion with their chil­dren, re­gard­less of age.

“The dis­trict re­ally likes to part­ner with the com­mu­nity agen­cies, and to of­fer some of th­ese things for par­ents to help them,” said Boy­er­town School Coun­sel­ing Co­or­di­na­tor Mar­ilee Cas­sidy.

The COCA is a pub­licly funded agency that is re­spon­si­ble for the man­age­ment of drug and al­co­hol ser­vices in Berks County. The “Time to Talk” pro­gram be­gan a year ago-- start­ing in the Brandy­wine Heights Area School Dis­trict.

Since, they have part­nered with other school dis­tricts and com­mu­ni­ties across Berks County to get the mes­sage to par­ents.

“We feel that par­ents are afraid to talk to their kids about drugs, and we want them to know that it doesn’t have to be a scary con­ver­sa­tion. It starts out young with talk­ing about healthy de­ci­sions, which can then lead up to talk­ing about drugs and al­co­hol,”

said Jackie Steed, the Preven­tion Pro­gram manager for the COCA.

“Time to Talk” will be in Boy­er­town for the first time, how­ever the BASD has al­ready held sim­i­lar events from the COCA-- in­clud­ing an in­ter­net safety sem­i­nar for par­ents held last year.

“We have a pretty strong part­ner­ship with the coun­cil on chem­i­cal abuse, and they have a whole bunch of dif­fer­ent pro­grams that they pre­sented that try to of­fer a va­ri­ety of top­ics to par­ents,” said Cas­sidy.

The Boy­er­town Mul­tiSer­vice Cen­ter on Spring Street will be host­ing the pro­gram, as it has in the past for many of the COCA’s past pro­grams with the BASD.

“We are very happy to host and pro­vide a meet­ing place for the Coun­cil on Chem­i­cal Abuse and the Boy­er­town Area School Dis­trict.

“We were con­tacted be­cause we have pro­vided a venue be­fore,” said Multi-Ser­vice Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Karen Youse.

Par­ents from the com­mu­nity are in­vited to at­tend the free pro­gram from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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