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Why Safe Graduation Parties Are Important for Florida High Schools

Posted by Informed Families on May 3, 2017 at 8:00 AM

According to the Florida Department of Education, there are approximately 200,000 high school seniors in our state. Most of those students will be graduating in the coming weeks. We want all of them to make it safely to the day after graduation…

Graduation is a time for celebration, but it can also be a dangerous time for students. The start of summer already has teens thinking about less responsibility and more fun; adding a milestone such as graduation to the mix gives many students an excuse to party more than they normally would. Unfortunately, in the process, these graduates might endanger their health and risk the safety of others. This can lead to tragedy for students right after one of the most significant achievements of their young lives.

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Topics: high school, binge drinking, underage drinking

What Actually Goes On at High School Parties?

Posted by Informed Families on April 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Parents of high schoolers worry about the parties their kids attend, and rightfully so. Drinking and drug use may occur at unsupervised parties; inebriated teens may get behind the wheel and endanger the lives of themselves, their passengers and innocent drivers; and alcohol poisoning, sexual assault or arrest are stark possibilities when minors drink to excess.

However, the image of a crazy high school party in which parents are on vacation and the whole school shows up for a kegger is a little overblown. Yes, the occasional party does approach out-of-control levels, but the majority of parties are smaller affairs, drawing no more than a few dozen kids, and perhaps even thrown with the blessing of parents who think teens will be safer if they drink in a supervised setting.

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Topics: high school, safe homes smart parties

Florida High Schools: How to Keep Your Prom Drug-Free

Posted by Informed Families on March 29, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Prom creates a wonderful memory for many students at Florida high schools. Teens plan, both individually and at school, to make prom a special night. Yet, drugs and alcohol can sometimes ruin that special night. In the worst-case scenario, the night can become tragic.

According to a AAA survey, 31 percent of high schoolers say they or someone they know plan to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol sometime during prom/graduation season. This statistic is troubling—students go through the effort of creating that special prom memory (not to mention the money their parents spend on gowns, tuxes and so on), then might get impaired enough to not remember the night.

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Topics: high school, drug prevention, drug free

Help Your Teen Throw Fun (and Safe) High School Parties

Posted by Informed Families on March 10, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The idea of high school parties often conjures images of outrageous bashes you remember from John Hughes movies or other teen flicks from the ’80s and ’90s. Or, perhaps you recall parties from your own youth and the chaos that may have accompanied them. These memories may scare you into never trusting your teens to throw a party themselves—even one that’s supervised.

Make no mistake: Unsupervised high school parties are a terrible idea, often descending into Sixteen Candles- or American Pie-type anarchy and destruction. However, when properly planned and supervised, with clear rules in place, your teens can throw a party for their friends that is both fun and safe. Here are some tips on how to help them make that happen:

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Topics: safe homes smart parties, safe parties, high school

Protecting Teens During Homecoming and Other High School Parties

Posted by Informed Families on September 30, 2016 at 6:12 AM

Teenage drinking remains a troubling problem for parents, educators and communities in 2016. An estimated 4,300 teens die every year from alcohol, whether from excessive consumption or driving while impaired. At this time of year, concerns about underage drinking escalate—we’re in the middle of Homecoming season, which means not only getting dressed up for a dance and decorating the gym, but also high school parties afterward. And it’s not strictly Homecoming that should be on parents’ radars: Teens sometimes  view fall Friday nights as “Go to the football game, then find a party.”

Nonetheless, Homecoming is the big milestone for many teens each fall, and their goal to make it memorable may unfortunately involve booze. Protecting students at this time, as well throughout the entire year, should be a priority, and one way to do so is to encourage high school parties and events without an alcohol element. Here are some tips for achieving this objective and keeping teens safe:

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Topics: high school, safe parties

Inspiring Words From An Informed Families Ambassador

Posted by Informed Families on August 17, 2016 at 6:08 PM

It's back to school…are you ready?  Informed Families’ summers are busy, as we prepare campaign toolkits and drug prevention resources for our statewide programs for the new school year.

As the school year begins, we look forward to hearing from our esteemed supporters, Ambassadors and dedicated parents. Our very first message was from a wonderful Ambassador, Anne Lewis of Baker County, who really re-energized all of us with her note. Here's what she wrote:

Christine,

I am so excited for the new school year and it is because of Informed Families!  I completed my order for materials today and then went to the website to check out everything there.  I LOVE the Family Dinner info and activities there. I have downloaded all of it and began planning and organizing that very minute. This has always been one of my favorite events and I plan to make it huge in my schools and community this year.

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Topics: Family Day, ambassadors, campaigns, high school, elementary school

Teacher Tools: 5 Things You Need for a Great Lesson Plan

Posted by Informed Families on May 1, 2015 at 12:49 PM

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Topics: education, high school, elementary school, middle school

Ambassador Spotlight: Anne Lewis of Baker County

Posted by Informed Families on March 11, 2015 at 8:50 PM

When children in Baker County introduce Anne Lewis as “the drug lady,” parents sometimes get the wrong idea. For over 25 years, Lewis has dedicated her life to educating children about prevention in her small rural county, where underage drinking, tobacco and marijuana use are her biggest concerns.

“I’m now teaching the children of some of my very first students,” says Lewis.

As Baker County Schools' prevention coordinator, Anne visits each of the schools, delivers curriculum, sponsors service clubs, organizes summer leadership camps and manages the county’s overall prevention efforts.

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Topics: Family Day, pledges, ambassadors, campaigns, high school, elementary school

Teacher Tools: Lesson Plan Templates and Other Resources

Posted by Informed Families on March 3, 2015 at 7:11 PM

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Topics: education, high school, elementary school, middle school

Connector Spotlight: Deborah Montilla

Posted by Informed Families on February 23, 2015 at 4:14 PM

"Connectors" are dedicated volunteers who share Informed Families' prevention message with their vast network of contacts to help expand the organization's reach. Deborah Montilla, executive director of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools' Division of Student Services and Vice Chairman of the Informed Families Board of Trustees, is a Connector extraordinaire and this month's spotlighted Connector.

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Topics: red ribbon week, pledges, ambassadors, campaigns, high school, orlando

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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