Safe Community Coalition 2018-2019 Annual Report
The Safe Community Coalition (SCC) celebrated a successful year of programming during 2018-2019. Our theme was ANXIETY and we saw great success communicating the issues surrounding anxiety.
The SCC decided to expand its reach to students and parents by showing the documentary “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety” twice during the year. More than 450 parents and students attended the screenings of Angst at Langley High School and McLean High School. Each screening featured a panel discussion of local private practice mental health professionals as well as school psychologists and social workers.
The SCC’s popular signature program, Sixth Grade Ethics Days, was moved to the spring at a new venue, McLean’s Holy Trinity Church. We welcomed more than 700 sixth graders from 7 area elementary schools for four half-day programs that also included lunch. Each day, the program featured two sessions: first were small group discussions of real-life scenarios focused on making ethical decisions with a second session, led by the education team of the Anti-Defamation League, focused on how to be an ally in a bullying situation. Parents were sent information on the day and were encouraged to talk about how ethics plays a part in decisions throughout life.
Our Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group of area high school students who are trained to meet in area middle schools with approximately 1,200 eighth graders and help them prepare for the challenges of high school. This year, our 65 YAC students answered questions, provided support, and encouraged balance in traversing the high school years in what we call Middle School Forum.
Our capstone program this year was our annual spring parenting event, which this year featured nationally-recognized social worker Lynn Lyons speaking about anxiety in children and the cycle of anxiety in families to more than 250 attendees at the Alden Theater in downtown McLean. Lynn’s groundbreaking work is featured in her book: Anxious Kids Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children.The SCC organized four book talks in area schools with our PTA and school partners. These allowed for small group discussion around the important topic of anxiety.
In addition to our signature programs, the SCC continued to facilitate communication between local groups such as PTA leaders, school counselors, and members of the mental health community. These meetings allow for collaboration across among the various community sectors to share best practices, provide support, and to discuss current concerns within the student population of McLean.
The SCC continued to build coalitions in the community by meeting with members of the faith community at a fall gathering focused on trends in the youth community and at a spring meeting focused on how to engage youth and how to handle tough situations. Members of law enforcement were present at both of these meetings so that leaders in the faith community can build relationships and learn about law enforcement efforts to help youth thrive.
The SCC continued its long-time focus on teen substance abuse education with a new program called Prom Cards. The SCC partnered with local florists to insert cards into prom corsage and boutonnière boxes encouraging students to make smart choices on prom night. We hope to expand this program in the future but were thrilled to give out 1,000 cards.
We also continued our Sticker Shock program where police officers and local students attach stickers to cases of beer and to bottles of wine reminding all of the laws regarding alcohol purchase and consumption.
Without your help, none of these programs would be possible! We are grateful for the amazing support of our community partners and sponsors in assisting to fund, market, and sustain our programs. Thank you all for your continued support and desire to work together for our youth.
2018-2019 SCC Officers
Brad Kuebler, President
Elizabeth Hale, President-Elect
Laura Przypyszny, Treasurer
Laurie Plishker, Secretary/Communications
Dr. Melissa Sporn, Past President and Chair of Mental Health Committee