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Judi Bosworth, Anna Kaplan & Town of North Hempstead Applaud CASA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” Prevention Campaign

May 16, 2014
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Judi Bosworth, Anna Kaplan & Town of North Hempstead Applaud CASA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” Prevention Campaign

North Hempstead, NY – Manhasset CASA’s recent sector meeting was kicked off with a proclamation from the Town of North Hempstead for its “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign. The ongoing underage drinking prevention initiative seeks to empower families to talk with their children about the risks of underage drinking – as early as age 9. The proclamation also marked the day as a town wide day of special recognition in the prevention of underage drinking across our communities.

“The Town of North Hempstead commends CASA for providing families with the tools they need to start conversations with their children about alcohol,” stated Judi Bosworth, North Hempstead Supervisor “‘Talk They Hear You’ serves a critical role in combating underage drinking and educating parents and caregivers about the importance of communication.”

“CASA is a wonderful resource for parents, who are sometimes unsure of how to approach the subject of drinking with their children,” added Anna Kaplan, North Hempstead Councilwoman District 4. “This gives parents the support and information they need in order to have those important discussions.”

The meeting was one of four held this school calendar year as part of CASA’s Drug Free Communities Grant Program and was dedicated to administering a community assessment facilitated by the US Army Staff Sergeant Dave You of the NYC Counter-drug Task Force. The Community Kaizen or community assessment survey queried CASA sector members where they electronically recorded their answers with hand held devices. The results are to be measured against the Drug Free Communities Grant's standard process tool (SPF-Strategic Prevention Framework) that most coalitions use and are gauged against factors like participation, consensus and utility which have been proven to be key indicators for coalition success. Final survey results will be presented at CASA’s October 2nd meeting and incorporated in its Strategic and Sustainability Plans.

Manhasset CASA’s “Talk. They Hear You” Campaign notes that as children approach their teen years, they begin to experience many emotional and physical changes – changes that are not always easy – and some children may experiment with alcohol. For most children, it is not just one thing that influences them to drink, but rather a combination of factors and parents can act to encourage healthy decision making during adolescence:

Stress: When children worry about things like grades, fitting in, and physical appearance, they may use alcohol as a way to escape their problems. What Can Parents Do? Encourage children to get involved in sports or other extracurricular activities as a healthier way to cope with his or her problems.

Peer Pressure: The age range between 11 and 18 is an impressionable period when youth are especially susceptible to outside influences such as peers, family members, and the media. What Can Parents Do? Help boost children’s confidence by helping him or her learn different ways to say “no” and reminding him or her that real friends do not pressure him or her to drink.

Transitions: Life events such as transitioning from middle school to high school, breaking up with a significant other, moving, or divorce can cause children to turn to alcohol. What Can Parents Do? Reassure children that things will get easier, and make sure he or she knows that drinking is not a solution.

Environment: If children grow up in an environment where parents or peers drink a lot and/or view drinking favorably, they may be more likely to drink themselves. What Can Parents Do? If parents choose to drink, set a good example by drinking in moderation, and make sure children know that underage drinking is not acceptable.

Genetics: Children who come from families with alcohol in their history are at an increased risk for becoming an alcoholic. What Can Parents Do? Have an honest discussion with children to make sure he or she understands the seriousness of the disease.

For more information on talking with children about alcohol, go to underagedrinking.samhsa.gov or http://manhassetcasa.org/

The Town of North Hempstead applauded Manhasset CASA’s “Talk. They Hear You” Campaign at CASA’s recent sector meeting. Pictured left to right: Left to Right: Kristin Mulholland, Shelter Rock School SCA President; Cathy Samuels, Manhasset CASA Project Director; Andrew Lunetta, Manhasset CASA Board of Director; Anna M. Kaplan, North Hempstead Councilwoman District 4; Judi Bosworth, North Hempstead Supervisor; Lisa Belinsky, Manhasset CASA Executive Director; Eugene Petracca, Jr. P.E., Manhasset CASA Board President; Barbara Donno, Mayor of Plandome Manor; and Liz Tomaselli, Munsey Park School SCA President.

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