PowerTalk 21 has traditionally been MADD’s annual day in April designated for parents to talk to their kids about alcohol. But this year, we expanded the event to focus on the entire spring time period of March 1 through May 31 because it is such a critical time of year when several milestone events occur (i.e. Spring Break, prom, and graduation) which could increase the presence of alcohol for young adults and teens under 21. In addition, this year, because of the rise in poly-abuse cases involving combinations of alcohol and/or drugs, MADD encouraged parents to use our free Power of Parents resources to expand their conversation to encompass alcohol AND other drugs, all of which can cause the same long-term damage on the growing mind and body.
In Tennessee, our staff and volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the state to spread the message about the dangers of underage drinking and drugs and to encourage parents to use our free Power of Parents resources to help with these conversations. We gave 45 presentations to 5,492 students in 28 schools and distributed 2,234 Power of Youth handbooks in March, April, and May. We also participated in a Teen Driving Awareness program, conducted a live Power of Parents Workshop, and reached almost 50,000 people with our messaging through our MADD Tennessee Facebook page and eNewsletter.
Thank you to those of you who invited us to speak, those who shared their stories and/or spoke at schools and events, and those who helped spread this life-saving messaging through social media! And to every parent who took the time and effort to talk to their kids about this important topic, we salute you! Together, we are saving kids lives! Every presentation, every conversation is an opportunity for them to be reminded of all the reasons they should be making the healthy choices, the right choices, and, sometimes, the hard choices. But the more they hear it, the more it becomes fact to them, and the more willing they are to speak up to their friends about making the right choices too. It’s a life-saving chain that starts with you!
If you missed out on the chance to invite us to speak to a group of teens or parents this spring, we are still happy to schedule a presentation with your school, youth group, club, church, or neighborhood this summer or next fall. Click here to request a speaker.
If you are a parent, grandparent, guardian, or any adult or leader who works with teens and would like more information about the free resources to help you have productive conversations about alcohol and drugs, go to www.powerofparents.org. We have a free Power of Parents handbook for talking to High School students and one for talking to Middle School students in addition to several specific topic guides and a parent/teen agreement.