On behalf of SafeLaunch, an organization focused on preventing addiction and raising student achievement, I would like to thank our event partner, the Santa Barbara Unified School District, for helping us bring three fabulous presenters to at La Cumbre Junior High School on Sept. 20.
With the support of Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley and Riverside County Senior Deputy District Attorney Gerry Lopez and Deputy District Attorney Evelyn Essenwanger impressed parents with concrete and doable parenting tips in English and Spanish. Following their presentations, one of the many positive comments we heard was from a parent who said, “This should be mandatory for all parents to hear.” We are pleased that Newspress TV filmed the presentation, making it available at newspresstv.com. Concurrently, health educator and comic Ray Lozano entertained and educated students about the health and addiction risks associated with early alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.
We also thank our collaborative partners, the Santa Barbara County Education Office, the Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department’s Neighborhood & Outreach Services and the Santa Barbara Education Foundation. We are humbled by the gracious donations from McConnell’s Ice Cream, which provided four flavors of cool sweetness for all attendees, and the Hampton Inn Goleta, which provided excellent accommodations for the presenters. Of the 200 parents and students who attended, we also thank the SBUSD school board members for their attendance and support. David Chen, the Santa Barbara truancy deputy district attorney and his associate, Corina Treviño, also attended and explained how the newly reinstated truancy program supports local families and students.
On hand at the resource tables were representatives from the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, Neighborhood and Outreach Services, Notes for Notes, Santa Barbara Teen News Network, Sharon Wilcox & Associates Learning Specialists, Daniel Bryant Youth & Family Treatment Center, and a great new resource for Santa Barbara families, Roundtable Counseling.
The success of this event demonstrates that collaboration between government agencies, private businesses and nonprofit organizations in support of the health and wellness of youth is possible.
Janet Rowse, SafeLaunch