Program slated to aid youth in preparing to succeed against odds
On Feb. 27, the Carbon County Healthy Families Coalition will present a program called "Succeeding Against the Odds" at Mont Harmon Junior High to aid parents and children in preparing for the future.
The presentation will feature speaker Chris Moore, who runs the "WhyTry" program. Moore's speech will encompass a wide range of situations that youth, parents and guardians face in school, at home and in life.
"About four years ago, we participated in a community based needs assessment," explained Bonni Seals, 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," pointed out Seals. "We began to wonder about the underlying issues. We began to ask ourselves what about our children and families in the community?"
Out of the meetings and the attempts to organize a youth drug court sprung the healthy families coalition.
The coalition is made up of professionals from state, county and city agencies, the school district and interested parties, including private business people.
The group started to come up with ideas to help the community.
"So 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. As the program came into conception, the group decided the presentation needed to be an entire evening dedicated to families that many Carbon County residents would want 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.
In East Carbon the buses will arrive at 4:30 p.m. and will pick up those who wish to attend at East Carbon High School. In Wellington the buses will show up at 5 p.m. and will depart from Wellington Elementary.
In Helper the bus will show up at 5 p.m. and residents can catch it at Sally Mauro Elementary. For those in
South Price they can meet at 5 p.m. at Creekview Elementary School. Officials have urged as many people as possible to take the bus because the parking at and around Mont Harmon Junior High is quite limited.
Once participants arrive they will be treated to a free spaghetti dinner for the entire family before the program begins. That dinner will be served between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
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. That part of the program will run between 6 and 7 p.m.
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. Those attending can go to two of those sessions that will be held in 40 minute blocks with a break in between bring the end of the program to 8:30 p.m. The buses that brought residents to the school will depart at 8:40 p.m. to take people back to the sites where they were picked up.
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.