By Jason KUROSU
There will be a departure from the usual Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition meeting on Monday, April 2 as the Coalition hosts an underage drinking seminar. The seminar, entitled Underage Drinking: From Preschool to High School, What Every Parent Should Know, will address the topic of underage drinking with a two-part performance, one consisting of skits highlighting issues children face regarding alcohol and one of a moderated debate. Both parts will be performed by high school and middle school students from various southern California schools.
Robbyn Battles, chair of the event, assures that the involvement of teens does not mean the seminar is meant necessarily for a younger audience.
“This is completely geared towards parents in a format that will educate and shed some light on what’s really going on,” Battles said.
There will be four skits in all, each told from the perspective of youths, and each of the scripts were written by the kids, she added.
“They have done their research and they are telling real life scenarios. This is a perfect event for parents, grandparents and caregivers with kids of any age to really listen and be shockingly educated on what is really happening with youth and underage drinking.”
Nine students from Crescenta Valley High, Flintridge Preparatory, Valencia High School and Rancho Pico Middle School will participate in the debate portion of the seminar. The debate will be moderated by L.A. Superior Court Judge Frederick R. Rotenberg, who has participated in the “Every 15 minutes” program, in which high school students are taught the dangers of alcohol abuse.
Hanna Oh, the special events coordinator for New Hope Academy located in La Crescenta, helped organize the debate team.
“One side will be presenting social hosting laws as a new way to curtail underage drinking while the other will be presenting other methods, most heavily parental involvement and early education, etc,” said Oh, regarding the opposing sides of the debate. “One team will focus on how social hosting laws will be different than other methods and why it’s a better approach. As for the other team, the focus will be on why other methods are good ways to approach the issue and specifically why parental involvement is really the key.”
The seminar will be held on April 2, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Center for Spiritual Living, located at 4845 Dunsmore Ave. For more information, visit the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition’s website at www.cvdapc.org.