CPC to host talk for church heads

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Covington County Children’s Policy Council will host a symposium Tues., Dec. 1, to allow local religious leaders a glimpse inside the minds of youth participants to better understand how they view drug and alcohol abuse.

Susan Short, CPC director, said that during the event, local pastors and youth leaders will have the opportunity to view and discuss the results of each of the three school systems’ Pride Surveys.

The Pride Survey, which is given each year to students in grades 6 through 12, is used to provide data concerning students’ views on tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use.

“These surveys do not have student’s names on them and gives officials a snapshot into their lives and an idea on how they think about and perceive risk and parental disapproval,” Short said. “It’s very insightful information.

“As religious leaders, our pastors need to be well aware of the many challenges that our young people face in Covington County,” she said. “We continue to have a high level of use — especially alcohol use — among our youth. Drug use affects everyone — communities, families and young people. You’ve got to remember that attending a religious program is still a protective factor in preventing many of these high risk factors because it lessens the likelihood of using those things.

“A lot of parents might know about their child’s drug use and will turn to the religious family for help,” she said. “It makes sense for our religious leaders to know the facts so they can help.”

Judge Frank “Trippy” McGuire, the county’s juvenile judge and CPC chairman, will act as the host for the event. Guest speakers include Lt. Lance Price of the Alabama Beverage Control Board and Covington County Sheriff Dennis Meeks. School officials set to attend include Andalusia’s Bob Harry, Opp Superintendent Michael Smithart and Covington County Schools’ Ann Shakespeare — each of whom are safe and drug free education coordinators.

Cost is $4 per person, and David’s Catfish House will provide dinner. The event will be held in the PowerSouth boardroom, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m.

Please R.S.V.P. by Friday by calling Short at 334-881-2319 or 222-7772.