On Saturday, October 20th, students, faculty, staff and community members will come together at South Side Middle School to show their support to live a healthy substance free lifestyle. Resource tables will be placed around the track providing information and services to attendees. Join our Coalition Sector members and enjoy this free event! All who attend will be eligible to win a raffle prize!
Coalition Sector Member, St. Agnes Cathedral Parish hosted their monthly Hospitality Sunday and we were there to provide important information to everyone. This past Sunday was also the kick-off to Catholic Schools Week and Open House at St. Agnes Cathedral School. The Rockville Centre Coalition for Youth provided important resources and prevention education materials to Parish and Community members. Many attendees asked to be added to our Coalition Member List and plan to attend our upcoming meetings and events.
A record number of teens, more than 60, along with almost a dozen adult community members, attended the first meeting of the RVC Youth Council, Inc., which was held on Tuesday, September 20 at 7:30 PM at the RVC Recreation Center. The teens in attendance were from South Side High School, and from regional Catholic schools, including Kellenberg Memorial High School. The new co-Presidents, South Side Seniors Ryan Martirano and Paige Pusateri ran the agenda, covering topics as diverse as substance abuse awareness to substance free teen events planned for the year. A special appearance was made by N.Y. State Senator Todd Kaminsky, who talked about the scourge of heroin abuse among the youth of Long Island. Members of the local Lions Club, RVC Chamber, PTA and members of the NY State National Guard Counter Drug Task Force participated in the meeting, and RVC Police Youth Officer Nick DeLuca was also in attendance. Adult Board Chair Andrea Connolly, and RVC Youth Council Board members Lana Glass and Jeff DiLuccio also provided support. Coalition Youth Sector Representative Chelsea Connolly, a SSHS Senior, and the Coalition Program Director, Jeanne Mulry, and Project Coordinator, Ruthanne McCormack were also in attendance. The RVC Youth Council, Inc., a NY State not for profit corporation is the fiscal agent for the Rockville Centre Coalition for Youth.
New York National Guard Members
Some of our strongest Sectors, including the RVC School District, our Parents, our Youth, and the RVC Youth Council, Inc., teamed up for a very special presentation on The Effects of Drugs of Abuse on the Teen Brain, by Dr. Stephen Dewey, at South Side High School on Wednesday, March 2. More than 800 parents, youth, school teachers and administrators, and representatives of the RVC Youth Council, Inc., the Don’t Press Send advocacy group, the National Guard, and the RVC Lions Club attended. The event was also supported by the RVC Police Department, by Confide Counseling, by our religious sector, including St. Agnes Cathedral Parish, and by our Media sector, the RVC Herald.
The School District took the lead planning the presentation, and getting the word out to the parents and teens. The RVC Youth Council helped place color flyers in our local businesses, and St. Agnes Cathedral published the flyer in its bulletin, which is read by thousands of families in our community. Email blasts, Facebook and Twitter postings, website listings and word of mouth brought the capacity crowd.
Dr. Noreen Leahy, Assistant Superintendent RVC School District, presents the program to a capacity crowd.
The audience received an intense and realistic presentation of the damage that alcohol and drug use has on still-growing teen brains, conducted by Dr. Dewey, an eminent neuroscientist at Northwell Health (formerly North Shore, LIJ). Using actual brain scans of teen users and control subjects, the audience learned that early drug and alcohol use can permanently alter brain chemistry, reduce intelligence, and put our youth at risk for Parkinson’s and MS. Dr. Dewey described some of the more dangerous alcohol abuses being used by teens today, including “eyeballing” and “tamping” and warned of the dangers of formaldehyde exposure from vaping, and how today’s marijuana is often laced with methamphetamines. Teen deaths from heroin and opioid use was tracked, and parents and teens were warned of the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
The purpose of the presentation was not only to educate parents and teens on these real dangers, but also to change the perceptions of teens about underage drug and alcohol abuse.