April 29, 2009 Edition

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ATOD Town Hall meeting held

Beth Todd (from left), Amy McKenzie and Alex Willett, youth from drug free clubs in Lawrence County, perform a skit about parents hosting graduation parties during the ATOD Coalition Town Hall meeting on Thursday.

The first of two ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs) Coalition Town Hall meetings was held at the Lawrence County Community Room Thursday night.

Programs currently being conducted by ATOD were discussed. The discussion included the Positive Action program being taught in all Lawrence County schools, the Reach Out Now-Teach In, which was held Tuesday at Williams Baptist College and the upcoming Life Skills Training.

Youth from drug free clubs performed a skit related to adults hosting graduation parties. Those involved in the skit were Amy McKenzie and Alex Willett, Black Rock High School seniors and Beth Todd, a Walnut Ridge High School senior.

Amber Adams, Positive Action Program coordinator, showed the television spot that will begin airing soon on KAIT, played a radio spot that will begin airing on local radio and showed a design that will begin appearing on billboards and banners throughout Lawrence County.

Alison Oglesby, ATOD project director, handed out information on the Lawrence County Prevention Needs Assessment results from 2008 as well as information on the new state-adopted social host law.

Also announced was a T-shirt design contest for students in grades seven through 12 in the county schools.

State Drug Director Fran Flener was the guest speaker, speaking about how local coalitions can make a difference. She stated that an emphasis on promoting protective factors for youth, as well as eliminating risk factors, will have an effect on underage drinking just as those factors have an effect on awareness and prevention of heart disease. Flener also noted that to be successful, it is essential to get parental involvement in these efforts because developing protective factors and eliminating risk factors should begin at an early age.

Lawrence County citizens have the opportunity to participate in a second town hall meeting and learn more about how to get involved on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Powhatan Community Center building.

Special guest at the meeting will be Travis Eades. Eades is a native of Lawrence County and a graduate of Hoxie High School. He is a professional musician and will be performing, as well as speaking about his involvement in drug education and prevention.

A sandwich meal will be provided at the meeting.

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