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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 9, 2018

The Roaring Fork Schools have scheduled several events on emerging topics related to adolescent health and well-being to educate and support parents and community members. Specifically, schools have hosted or are scheduled to host events on vaping, marijuana, and internet use and safety. These events are part of the district’s emphasize on prevention. As of this year, the Roaring Fork Schools have a  prevention specialist in each community to provide substance abuse and behavioral health care to students.

“These events all support our prevention efforts,” said Paul Hassel, a prevention specialist in the Roaring Fork Schools. “Parents and school professionals are asking for information about these topics, and there's a huge need for education in our community.”

The district is partnering with Eagle County Public Health on a series of presentations on vaping. The presentations will share information about vaping, including why it's harmful for youth and how we can decrease youth usage.

“Youth usage is on the rise. However, until the 2017 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey data is released, we won't know by how much,” said Mandy Ivanov, Eagly County Public Health’s health promotion coordinator and schools liaison. “The HKCS data from 2015 was already alarming, with 44 percent of high school youth reporting that they had tried an electronic device, and 21 percent had used an electronic device within the past 30 days. Given the ability of drugs--including nicotine--to hard-wire the developing brain for life-time addiction, it is urgent that we educate youth and parents on the harms that come from using these devices.”

Because of this trend of increasing youth use, the Roaring Fork Schools are focusing on prevention education. The first presentation on vaping was offered earlier this month in Basalt. School Resource Officer Thomas Wright and Prevention Specialist Paul Hassel presented information about vaping and how to talk to your student.

Happening later this month, the Roaring Fork Schools and Eagle County Health are co-hosting presentations that cover the what and how of vaping on:

  • March 15 at Glenwood Springs High School at 6:30 p.m.,
  • March 21 at Carbondale Middle School at 6 p.m., and
  • March 22 at Glenwood Springs Middle School at 5:30 p.m.

The Roaring Fork Schools are also teaming up with the Marijuana Valley Council and YouthZone to host trainings for adults on talking to youth about marijuana. These trainings will cover relevant state laws, new products, and impacts on adolescent brain development and will be held on:

  • March 19 at the 3rd Street Center in Carbondale from 5:30-7:30 p.m. (all Spanish-speaking)
  • March 22 in Glenwood Springs at the Vaudeville from  5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • April 4 at Basalt Middle School from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

“Adolescents are known to drift from their parents' influence toward their peers'. However, parents and other trusted adults are still counted on to provide guidance, support, and accurate information especially when the going gets rough,” said Hassel. “Rather than just riding out the storm, my hope is that the trusted adults in our community show up at these presentations in order to equip themselves for the voyage ahead.”

All are welcome to attend these free events, which offer food and childcare, but participants are asked to register in advance. Registration for the Carbondale and Basalt events can be done online here. Registration for the Glenwood Springs event can be done online here or by calling 384-5695.

Earlier this year, schools have hosted internet safety presentations and film showings of the movie Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age, a documentary that explores the impact of screen technology on kids and offers parents proven solutions that work.

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