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The Hang Out at Rowe

Hosted by: Clackamas County Children, Family and Community Connections and Milwaukie Youth Empowerment Coalition

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

Youth access to alcohol, low perception of harm, and alcohol advertising and promotion are significant concerns in the North Clackamas school district in Milwaukie, Oregon. To address these issues and discuss their impact in the community, we decided to host an afterschool Communities Talk event at Rowe Middle School.

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How did a Communities Talk event help you address those issues?

  • Educated youth and parents
  • Made making good health behavior choices fun and engaging
  • Raised awareness of substance abuse and/or underage drinking issues in our community
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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
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How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?

Clackamas County Children, Family and Community Connections and the Milwaukie Youth Empowerment Coalition used a polling device to obtain feedback on youth use of alcohol at Rowe Middle School. Participants also engaged in a discussion with a group of panelists—a representative from the juvenile department; a coordinator at Harmony Academy, Oregon’s first recovery high school; and a coalition prevention coordinator.

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What other challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?

  • Unforeseen difficulties when planning our activity
  • It was a warm afternoon and the cafeteria was hot, many of the youth had conflicting events that afternoon.
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How did you overcome these challenges?

Many of the students who wanted to attend were not able to because of scheduling conflicts with their other afterschool programs. We provided awareness t-shirts for the students who could not make it to the event to give them a way to show their voice in prevention and raise awareness to make healthy choices.

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What are your next steps?

  • Create new action groups to tackle specific issues raised during our Communities Talk activity
  • Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community

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