Wednesday April 9th at 7:00 p.m. at WTRMS
Refreshments Will Be Served
Kings Park in the kNOw (KPITK) Trustee and Chairperson of the Middle School event, Denise Mullen says as our children approach adolescence, it can be a scary time. All parents want to keep their kids safe and hope they make good decisions. “Did you know that there are things you can do – to keep your kids on the right track, to help them make good choices and to be able to say no to drugs,” she questioned.
KPITK is hosting its first middle school event for parents and teens/tweens. Experts in the prevention/addiction field this is a critical age where important dialogues must take place. KPITK will be showing a short documentary called: Dying High: Teens in the ER. It takes a look at a real Westchester emergency room and the teens that come through it after making destructive decisions. It’s a must see for every parent and teen. Warning, every teen/tween must be accompanied by a parent – as parts of it are shocking.
Melissa McDougal is a Social Worker and Vice President of KPITK. “This is a very critical age and unfortunately the reality is our children are experimenting earlier and earlier so we must have these critical dialogues with them,” said McDougal. Both McDougal and Mullen say now is the time to have these conversations – to lay out what type of behavior parents expect and what type of behavior is prohibited by the family. Mullen says no parent wants to think that their middle school child would try alcohol or a drug but unfortunately that’s not the case. “We, as parents need to educate ourselves so we can keep our teens/tweens safe and make healthy decisions,” she stated. “Parents have more influence over their children than anyone else,” she explained. There are addiction experts and statistics toback that statement up.
Kings Park mother Linda Ventura will speak about her late son Thomas, who succumbed to a heroin addiction two years ago when he was 21. Thomas Ventura played KPY sports; he ate pizza where our kids eat pizza; Thomas was a popular lacrosse player and wrestler at Kings Park High School. He was just a regular kid from KP whose life changed when he began to make some poor decisions. Find out what’s she’s doing to prevent other families from going through the horrific experience of losing a child to addiction.
Prevention experts at Horizons of Smithtown will educate parents about Protective Factors and Risk Factors. Did you know if you have alcoholism in your family, even if it’s your long lost grandfather – your child is at greater risk for addiction to drugs and/or alcohol? However, don’t worry, there are protective factors you can put into place to reduce or negate your child’s risk. Addiction is preventable. “We, at KPITK are trying to make as many parents aware of what is going on in the community. Please join us and listen to what the experts have to say,” implored Mullen.
The evening will culminate with the group splitting into two with kids on one side and adults and the other. Prevention/addiction experts will be on hand to do a Q & A for each group. For parents it’s a great time to discuss: Understanding Adolescence and Concrete Prevention Strategies
WHY IS THIS EVENING POSSIBLY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENINGS OF YOUR LIFE? Would you send your child onto a sports field without safety equipment or let them ride in a vehicle without a seatbelt? Then please don’t send them into adolescence without the tools they need to live happy healthy drug-free lives. Addiction is preventable; we think your kid is worth it! Maureen Rossi, Chairman of KPITK and the entire KPITK team