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Florida Middle Schools Prescription Drug Abuse Facts

Posted by Informed Families on October 21, 2016 at 6:01 AM

Red Ribbon Week is approaching, and middle schools across Florida will be raising awareness and facilitating communication about kids making healthy choices. The red ribbons that teachers and students will wear aren’t just for decoration—they signify a commitment to staying safe and resisting the dangers of teenage drug and alcohol use. Such a campaign would seem naturally geared toward high schoolers, but the message is just effective for middle schoolers and even earlier. In fact, the years when kids are 11-14 might be the most important time to deliver these messages.

As much as we want to believe middle schoolers aren’t old enough to be abusing drugs and alcohol, the reality is junior high kids are just as vulnerable as high schoolers, perhaps even more so. The parts of the young adolescent brain that deal with stress are still maturing, and the coping mechanisms they learn now can become ingrained for the rest of their lives. If middle schoolers turn to drugs this early, they can be setting themselves up for a lifetime of struggle.

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Topics: drug use, middle school

All Star Ambassador Spotlight: Laura Estes of Walton County

Posted by Informed Families on July 20, 2016 at 5:50 PM

Parents at Freeport Middle School generally respond to Informed Families Ambassador and All Star Safe Healthy & Drug Free School winner Laura Estes quite positively. Not to anyone’s surprise, the majority of parents are very appreciative of her dedication to the health and well-being of her students, demonstrated by her delivery of year-round prevention programs.

“One mom told me she was walking by her daughter’s room and heard her daughter say, ‘no, we can never get involved with anything like that because you remember what Ms. Estes said,’” said Laura. “I love to hear stories like that or run into former students who tell me that they never tried drugs after going through my program.”

However, not all responses are immediately positive, especially among parents who are smokers or heavy drinkers.

“One parent who smoked cigarettes said, ‘if I have to hear about the harmful effects of tobacco products one more time, I’m going to strangle you,’” said Estes, with a smile. “Several of my students have inspired their own parents to break out of bad habits. They tell me all the time, ‘my mom hasn’t had a cigarette in three weeks’ or ‘my dad isn’t drinking as much anymore.’”

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Topics: red ribbon week, ambassadors, lock your meds, campaigns, walton county, all star schools, Freeport Middle School, middle school, parents

Congrats To 18 All Star Schools For 2014-2015 School Year

Posted by Informed Families on May 26, 2015 at 2:42 PM

Florida Schools Honored For Prevention Success During 2014-2015 School Year

Go Team! 18 schools across the State of Florida just earned bragging rights for their outstanding efforts to help prevent underage drinking and substance abuse. The All Star Safe, Healthy & Drug Free Schools were selected and recognized by Informed Families.

The schools (listed below) were chosen among hundreds of schools participating in Informed Families’ Ambassador Program for their demonstrated dedication to year-round prevention activities and for their success in actively engaging students, parents and faculty in prevention.

“Spring is the season for school celebrations – and now 18 of the most dedicated schools in Florida have more to celebrate,” said Peggy B. Sapp, President and CEO of Informed Families. “Informed Families All Star Safe, Healthy and Drug Free Schools understand the importance of spreading healthy, drug-free messages to help students and families make good choices surrounding alcohol and other drugs, ultimately saving lives. Our programs are designed to curb underage drinking, substance abuse and other risky behaviors - and the impact is real, thanks to the involvement of schools across Florida – and especially our All Star Schools.”

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Topics: red ribbon week, pledges, ambassadors, campaigns, elementary school, homestead, middle 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: Sonia Ambrose

Posted by Informed Families on April 22, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Spend two minutes with Sonia Ambrose and you will instantly sense her unlimited passion for helping students thrive in school and in life.

“I find my job to be very rewarding,” said Ambrose. “I love being a school counselor and helping children succeed.”

As a counselor at Irving & Beatrice Peskoe K-8 Center in Homestead, Sonia offers students support, helps them build skills and works to resolve issues, all with the goal of helping them blossom to reach their full potential. Among the tools she uses to accomplish this goal are the materials given to her by Informed Families as part of the Ambassador Program.

“I was delighted to learn about the Ambassador Program last year at a county-wide training session with other school counselors,” said Ambrose. “I am always looking for great programs to help our students and families, so I immediately signed up.”

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Topics: red ribbon week, pledges, ambassadors, campaigns, elementary school, homestead, middle 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

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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