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President's Message - September 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on September 21, 2018 at 10:23 AM

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR CHILDREN'S HEATLH & WELL-BEING? 

For so many issues that we face as a society, and certainly drug addiction, there’s an abundance of denial and blame.

This reminds me of a little riddle about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

(For example, creating a healthy environment for our children.)

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

(We are all so busy, after all!)

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.

(“Don’t put it all on me!”)

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Topics: President's Message, children, drug prevention, family dinner, Family Day, red ribbon, red ribbon week

President's Message - November 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on November 28, 2017 at 10:01 PM

A Time To Give Thanks

November signifies a time of gratitude for all things. As we gather with our families for delicious dinners prepared with the best trimmings, we reflect deeply on what truly means the most to us and express gratitude for those things.

After 35 years of providing families with the tools to help kids make healthy choices, I am extremely thankful for the success of Informed Families. This year, I have plenty to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the hard-working staff of Informed Families for working diligently to ensure that families and children are united to combat the social pressures of underage drinking and illegal drug use.

I am thankful for an active Board of Trustees, who altruistically dedicates their time to supporting our mission and achieving our vision.  

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, red ribbon week, red ribbon, Family Day

President's Message - October 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on October 26, 2017 at 12:51 PM

Why Simple Things Really Do Make A Difference

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Annual Conference of the Institute of Coaching at Harvard Medical School. What’s the latest?  We are all stressed, the world is spinning faster and we feel a loss of control, which is creating more anxiety. We live in a VUCA world…VUCA is an acronym for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. 

Some simple things to know are: 

1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. EVERYONE IS EXPERIENCING this rapid rate of change and uncertainty.

2. Don’t try to keep up or get ahead of the curve. Learn how to live effectively. 

3. Put down and turn off the screens. We are driving OURSELVES CRAZY. Who said you had to respond to every email, tweet, and message?

4. Do Mindful meditation for yourself and with your family…there are proven health results.

We are a society addicted to experts, silver bullets and having the right answer, but the new research is showing that the expert is YOU.  Being in Community with others is critical for health and wellness – and the first community we have is our family. We have an immunity to change; we tell ourselves something, but do something else. Yet, by spending time with ourselves and our families, we start to find meaningful answers.

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, red ribbon week, red ribbon, Family Day

Congratulations To 2017 Family Day Contest Winners!

Posted by Informed Families on October 13, 2017 at 5:29 PM

Congratulations to the Person Family of Miami-Dade County, the Navarrete Family of Collier County and the Clisby Family of Volusia County on being randomly selected to win a $100 Publix gift card in the 2017 Family Day Photo Contest. Thank you for sharing your family dinner photo on social media with #flfamilyday to help spread the message about the importance of family dinners to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

Stay tuned for our announcement of the school with the most family entries in Florida. The winning school will receive $250 from Informed Families.

Check out some of our favorite family dinner photos from across Florida...

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Topics: Family Day, family dinner, photo contest

Star Ambassador: Angela Nealy of Orange County

Posted by Informed Families on November 8, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Angela Nealy’s kind and nurturing personality is just what’s needed in her role as Gotha Middle School’s SAFE Coordinator and in her role as an Informed Families Ambassador. SAFE, which stands for Student Assistance and Family Empowerment, is a program to assist in making school campuses safe and drug free so all students have the opportunity to be successful in school. This is done through preventive, supportive and responsive action. And her zebra print sofa helps offer a sense of comfort to all (students and adults) that enter the SAFE Zone. Nealy, who has worked as a school administrator for 19 years, works with the students, staff and parents in these efforts.

“I am most concerned with getting factual information into the hands of our students,” said Nealy. “Middle school is such an impressionable time. I don’t want our students obtaining incorrect information from their friends and sometimes their siblings and then being tempted to try something dangerous as a result.”  

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Topics: red ribbon week, ambassadors, campaigns, parents, Family Day

All Star Ambassador Spotlight: Tracy Bowen of Collier County

Posted by Informed Families on October 20, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Tracy Bowen, an Informed Families Ambassador who serves as the coordinator for K-12 Health, P.E. and Drivers Education for all Collier County Public Schools, is a true prevention champion and this month’s star ambassador for her dedication to the children of Collier County.

"I love being an Informed Families Ambassador because I want to be the best role model and advocate for a drug free lifestyle and family-centered life for all of the students, parents and educators in our district," said Bowen.

Bowen was first introduced to Informed Families four years ago through Informed Families Board Member Pat Barton and our partners at Drug Free Collier, Ana DiMercurio and Melanie Black. Drug Free Collier is a drug free coalition with a mission of “uniting the community to protect the children of Collier County from substance abuse.” Bowen works closely with the coalition to implement prevention programming in her school district.

Bowen, whose goal is to have an Ambassador in all Collier County Schools, orders materials for elementary, middle and high schools in Collier County, depending on the campaign, in an effort to educate students and parents – and to engage her school communities in prevention.

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Topics: red ribbon week, ambassadors, campaigns, parents, Family Day

President's Message - September 2016

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on September 22, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Do You Eat Dinner With Your Children?

Eating dinner together sounds so simple and yet, it is not today’s norm. Why? The answer has something to do with hectic schedules, after school activities and other outside influences that interfere with dinnertime. This reality is most unfortunate because research has shown that the more children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs.

So welcome to Informed Families’ first drug prevention tool of the school year: Family Day.  Family Day is a national effort, developed by the Center for Addiction & Substance Abuse at Columbia University, to encourage family dinners as an effective way to reduce youth substance abuse and other risky behaviors.  Join us on Family Day, September 26th and learn how to have fun through simple exercises.

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Topics: President's Message, children, parents, Family Day, family dinner

The Value of Family Day for Healthy Kids

Posted by Informed Families on September 21, 2016 at 7:55 AM

Family Day is a national effort aimed at promoting family dinners and building healthy kids. Set for Sept. 26 this year, Family Day emphasizes the value of sitting down and enjoying a meal with your children. The benefits go beyond basic sustenance, reaching into something much deeper: Teens who regularly eat dinner with their families are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. Here’s a deeper look at the value of Family Day and how this simple effort can lead to healthy kids:

Family Dinners, Healthier Kids

The prospect that family dinner ultimately results in healthier kids might seem odd, but research backs up this concept. One study conducted by Columbia University discovered that teens who had frequent dinners (more than five times a week) with their parents were more likely to have excellent relationships with them than those families whose dinners were infrequent (fewer than twice a week). Subsequently, the better the relationship kids have with their parents, the less likely they were to use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

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Topics: healthy kids, Family Day

How The Five Whys Can Help You Become A More Efficient Parent

Posted by Informed Families on September 19, 2016 at 5:02 PM

A recent New York Times blog post, entitled “How Asking 5 Questions Allowed Me to Eat Dinner With My Kids” by Charles Duhigg, offers a surprisingly simple solution to many of the problems families face in the fast paced world we are living in. Specifically, Duhigg was struggling with the issue of wanting to eat dinner together with his family and finding it very difficult due to his family’s busy schedule.  In the blog, Duhigg offered a solution that helped him resolve this problem, called the “five whys.”

Duhigg, a journalist and author of two books on habits and productivity, suggests that parents examine why they can’t eat dinner with their children by asking “why” five times.

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Topics: family bonding, family dinner, Family Day, parents

[Press Release] Why Don't We Eat Dinner With Our Children?

Posted by Informed Families on September 14, 2016 at 6:00 AM

Informed Families Offers Answers During Family Day 2016 

Informed Families, a Florida nonprofit devoted to helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug-free, is sponsoring the Florida celebration of Family Day, an event that promotes the importance of family dinners and parental engagement by challenging families to enjoy a meal together on Sept. 26 and regularly thereafter. More details about Family Day 2016 can be found at 

Florida's families deal with hectic schedules, afterschool activities and other outside influences that interfere with dinnertime. This reality is unfortunate because research has shown that the more children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs. Family Day is a national effort, developed by the Center for Addiction & Substance Abuse at Columbia University, to promote family dinners as an effective way to reduce youth substance abuse and other risky behaviors.http://www.flfamilyday.com.

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Topics: Family Day

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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