As we do every year, in association with the Parents Association, we will bring a prevention specialist from Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) to campus next week, from November 7 – November 11. Marley Bennett will work in small and large groups with students from grades 8 – 12 while she is here. Marley joined FCD Prevention Works as a prevention specialist in 2014. She studied Early Childhood Education at Southern Connecticut State University. She has worked with youth in a variety of ways over the course of her career: as a creative arts instructor during Yale University’s summer program, as a sailing instructor, and as a nanny for eight years. Prior to joining FCD Prevention Works, Marley was a frequent volunteer speaker on substance abuse and addiction issues to middle and high school student and parent groups around Connecticut.
For those unfamiliar with the work of this organization,
- FCD Prevention Specialists present the most up-to- date information available on the physiological and psychological effects of various drugs, and provide a forum for discussing social, cultural, and personal issues that relate to the choices people make. They promote awareness of addiction, including alcoholism, as a progressive, chronic, and often fatal disease.
- FCD Prevention Specialists do not attempt to tell students what to do. They recognize that every student makes his or her own decisions about alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drug use. Their goal is to empower young people to make healthy, responsible choices regarding alcohol and other drug use. They encourage and support the non-use of alcohol and other illegal or illicit drugs during the growing years.
- All of the Prevention Specialists have achieved long-term recovery from alcohol or other drug addictions. Most FCD Prevention Specialists began their own drinking and drug use during middle school and high school. They have experienced the pressures, personal issues and social situations teens face with regard to alcohol and other drug use. They also have first-hand knowledge of the destructive aspects of drug use, and how occasional use, in their case, led to addiction. Their understanding and openness makes them excellent facilitators for these conversations.
As part of this effort, we have also scheduled two opportunities for parents to engage with Marley as well. One of the goals of both the Parents’ Association and administration is to identify opportunities for joint programming so that students and parents would learn about the same topic at about the same time to facilitate dialogue on important issues. We also want to promote stronger parent networks by providing this forum for discussion of relevant subjects. The social lives of your children are something you all have in common, and we thought it a valuable conversation to have.
Every school faces the issue of alcohol use by students. We are no different, and we know that parents have widely differing views on how to approach this topic with their children. We will be organizing a discussion on this subject soon, but coming to listen to Marley would be a great start to hearing about and engaging the subject of substance abuse.
For those who want to join us, Marley will be speaking with families on Wednesday November 9th at 7:00 PM and Friday November 11 at 8:30 AM.