April is Alcohol Awareness Month and the Iroquois-Kankakee Regional Office of Education’s Life Education Center and Pledge for Life Partnership are working to bring awareness and promote healthier choices for kids and families throughout Kankakee and Iroquois counties. Multiple efforts are planned to help promote and create a safer, healthier community.
Brenda Wetzel, director of Life Education Center programs shared, “Our efforts in April allow us to put into practice the important message of” KEEP SHOWING UP, THEY’RE STILL GROWING UP”. Between our community events, the parent and teen art event, and the messages communicated through our Life Education Center educators, we encourage parents and caregivers to have these important conversations with their kids.”
The Pledge for Life Partnership Youth Advisory Council (YAC) continues to meet and work on efforts to help make the community a safer and healthier place for all. As part of the efforts for the Positive Social Norms campaign, YAC members also brainstormed and developed concepts for teen alcohol awareness posters with the slogans, “Be Part of the Majority 75% of Teens Don’t Drink – Follow Their Lead” and “If you were high, could you look your mother in the eye?” These posters will be displayed in local schools and throughout the community. PfL Youth Advisory Council will also have the opportunity to recognize and thank a coach who has positively influenced lives beyond the game. A free Paint/Glaze your own Pottery event for parents and teens is scheduled for April 13 at Hedgeapple Arts in downtown Kankakee, with engaging conversation to increase alcohol safety awareness. This event provides another opportunity for parents to “KEEP SHOWING UP, THEY’RE STILL GROWING UP,” one of the many initiatives of the Pledge for Life Partnership.
Visit the Pledge for Life Partnership’s Facebook page for the sign-up link or call the office at 815-936-4606 for more information.
Life Education Center educators continue to incorporate additional information and education promoting safe medication practices. Community events such as the Kankakee Area YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 29 for families and the community to reinforce healthy messages.
In addition to celebrating National Alcohol Awareness Month in April, the Life Education Center and Pledge for Life Partnership Youth Advisory Council will be assisting the Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group and local law enforcement from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29 at the east entrance of Northfield Square Mall for the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This day is meant to encourage the community to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired prescription drugs.
“We collected over 1,000 pounds of unused and expired medication at our last Take Back Day in October, which makes our community that much safer and healthier,” said Jim Schreiner, Drug-Free Communities Grant Project Coordinator. “This is a great time to start cleaning out your medicine cabinets now to prepare for the April 29 Take Back Day.”
National Prevention Week will be celebrated May 7 through May 13, 2023 and the Life Education Center and Pledge for Life Partnership Youth Advisory Council will kick off the week with a Teen Mental Health and Wellness Summit on May 4 at the Army Aviation Support Facility and Readiness Center in Kankakee. Health educators, social workers, and students from each high school will come together for an exciting, informative, and fun day that promotes prevention, mental wellness, and healthy coping mechanisms. Community partner agencies will share resources, tools and tips for positive mental health.
This summit is sponsored by the Iroquois-Kankakee Regional Office of Education’s Life Education Center, Pledge for Life Partnership Youth Advisory Council, Kankakee County Health Department, and Project SUN.
PfL Youth Advisory Council will participate in MY GO-TO campaign asking students to identify their support system by sharing who their go-to is in a time of need.
Community members are encouraged to participate in these events in order to help make our community a safer and healthier place for all. Stay tuned for more information that will be shared on local radio stations and on the I-KAN ROE’s Pledge for Life social media pages. For more information, contact Brenda Wetzel, director of Life Education Center programs at the Iroquois-Kankakee Regional Office of Education at 815-936-4606. For resources, go to PledgeforLife.org.