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Front Page » January 31, 2006 » Local News » Family night will bring experience to one place
Published 3,221 days ago

Family night will bring experience to one place


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate general manager

Being a teenager and sorting out life is often not easy. The program on Feb. 27 will help teenagers and their parents communicate better.

Just possibly the biggest challenge in today's world for Americans is how the next generation is going to handle the world they are walking into. And in families today there is a lot of concern about where American life is headed.

On Feb. 27, the Carbon County Healthy Families Coalition will be presenting an evening at Mont Harmon Junior High which will aide parents and children in facing that future when they present an entire program called "Succeeding Against the Odds."

The program, which will feature world renowned speaker Chris Moore who runs the "WhyTry Program" will encompass a whole range of situations that kids and their parents face in school, at home and in life.

"About four years ago we participated in a community based needs assessment," said Bonni Seals, the public information manager for the Division of Child and Family Services in eastern Utah. "One of the needs identified was for more drug treatment in our area. Because of this we attempted to organize a coalition to address that problem. We met a few times, but with each meeting we began to see that the problem is bigger than just drugs. We began to wonder about the underlying issues. We began to ask ourselves, 'What about our children and families in the community?'"

Out of those meetings and the attempt to first organize a youth drug court sprung the Healthy Families Coalition. That coalition is made up of professionals from state, county and city agencies, the school district and others including some private business people. That group started to come up with some ideas to help the community.

"So (after meeting) we decided to concentrate our efforts on educating the community on all the needs we have, all the resources and services that we have and to celebrate the success we have," stated Seals. "We want this to be the very best community. We believe it takes a community to raise a child and we believe that it takes a community to help us all succeed in life."

It was at that point that "Succeeding Against the Odds" was born. And as it came into conception the group decided that it needed to be an entire night dedicated to families and one that would be something that many wanted to attend.

The Feb. 27 program will include a lot of education, but it also includes some other things most parent-kids nights don't; transportation to the venue as well as a free dinner for all that come.

The group has arranged with the school district to provide buses for those who want to come from travel points in East Carbon/Sunnyside, south Price, Wellington and Helper.

Once participants arrive they will be treated to a free spaghetti dinner for the entire family before the program begins.

While dinner is going on and in between breakout sessions, family members can visit any of a number of booths that will be set up to provide information about services to families in the area.

After dinner Moore will provide the keynote address, and his talk will be exciting and entertaining.

"This program teaches us how to conquer many of the obstacles that life throws at us," said Seals of Moore's "WhyTry Program."

Moore is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and has an M.S.W. from Brigham Young University. He has several years experience working with at risk youth, including work as a school counselor at an alternative high school, and as a youth outpatient therapist at a community mental health agency specializing in adolescents with conduct disorder and learning disabilities. He is the Founder and CEO of the WhyTry Organization and is the creator of The WhyTry Program. More important than his education however, is the fact that Moore grew up in a family where things were not "normal." He has had experience with dysfunctional families from the time he was a child and still copes with problems in his personal life from those experiences.

After Moore's address there will be numerous breakout sessions for parents including sections on helping children with math and English, building relationships with children, learning from kids, dealing with gifted and talented children and more.

For teens there will be sessions on career choices and resume writing, a section called Dating 101, a class for girls called Girl Power and a section called Hope for Tomorrow, along with many others.

For those with children under 11 the coalition has also organized and created activities for those kids as well.

The Healthy Families Coalition hopes this will be the first step in providing meaningful educational experiences for families and children and is looking to provide future events as well.

Over the next few weeks further details and information will be available concerning the evening.


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