Don’t blink. That is what I keep telling myself. How quickly this year has flown by. We started the year of with our signature program, Sixth Grade Ethics Day. Cindy Carlson, our program director, continued to shake things up infusing the program with relevance for today’s world and provided take-home messages our tweens will use as they navigate their adolescence. Over 1,400 sixth graders from ten area schools benefited from this half-day program, learning about ethics and integrity.
Our Youth Advisory Council
(YAC = students from our area High Schools) were organized and trained by Susan Nolan and Val Lingeman to go into the Middle Schools and prepare approximately 1,200 eighth grade students for High School. Our YAC answered questions, provided support and encouraged balance in navigating the next four years.
Margaret Alessi spearheaded our Administrators Supper. We had a great event inviting School Administrators and Counseling Staff, Law Enforcement, Faith Community Representatives, Mental Health Liaisons and School Liaisons to enjoy a wonderful meal (generously donated by Café Oggi) and discuss issues of concern for our youth.
Jackie Cho lead our Faith Community Committee. She organized meetings with the local faith community of all denominations to discuss how to help our youth thrive.
Laurie Buchanan organized our School Liaisons. The SCC has representatives from all of our local schools that work together to share programs, resources, and knowledge to better inform parents and our community.
Mimi Weisberg spearheaded our Mental Health Committee. She organized, along with her committee, two successful networking events for mental health providers in our community. The focus of these meetings was on networking with colleges and discussing issues and solutions to problems facing our youth.
Brad Kubler took on the task of organizing Project Sticker Shock, a community awareness program designed to prevent people 21 and older from purchasing alcohol and providing it to underage individuals. Students in our community visited partnering stores and placed stickers with a warning message about the penalties for providing alcohol to anyone under 21 and using a fake ID to purchase alcohol prior to our area proms.
Our capstone program this year was “The Big Disconnect” written by Catherine Steiner-Adair. Cindy Carlson championed this amazing program with the assistance of many SCC Board Members. The SCC facilitated several book chats encouraging parents of all ages to read the book and discuss the message of how technology impacts our family relationships. Mrs. Steiner-Adair’s presentation to our community was a success, enabling members of our community to learn from Dr. Steiner-Adair’s engaging, informative and inspiring talk. We learned, among many other things, seven principles for sustaining family relationships in the digital age, as well as eight simple strategies to strengthen family connections everyday.
It goes without saying that without the help of many, many people none of these amazing programs would be possible. We greatly appreciate the amazing support of our community partners, sponsors (New Dominion Women’s Club, McLean Rotary, TEGNA foundation, and Wells Fargo), and sectors in assisting to fund, market and sustain our programs. Thank you all for continuing to support our efforts in a desire to work together for our youth.
Have a restful and relaxing summer.
Melissa Sporn, PhD
President Safe Community Coalition