Sayre Parent Group Supports Teens

sayre-momsParents at Sayre School, a college preparatory school where 100% of the students go on to college, know that one of the biggest stumbling blocks to a student’s success can be drug and alcohol abuse.

Parents also know that despite what kids hear from their friends or the media, parents are still primary role models and have a major influence on their teens.

With that in mind, parents initiated in 2010 the Sayre School Choices Committee – a fact-based program for parent education that augments the school’s comprehensive anti-abuse programs already in place.

The goal is to help teens make healthy choices.

The program, led by parents Gay Barnett and Lynn Brewer, has grown from a few parents to up to six parents per grade (8th-12th).

Plus, results of a 2012 student survey showed across-the-board improvement.

Working closely with school officials, the local DrugFreeLex and Youth Coalition for Alcohol Education programs, and the national non-profit Freedom from Chemical

Dependency, the committee has been directly involved in developing a series of programs to help kids and parents navigate the teen years.

The group’s primary focus has been Parent Education Programs.

Topics have included driver education, research on the negative effects of alcohol on the developing teenage brain, and the legal ramifications of hosting parties where alcohol is served to teens.

Speakers have included Larry Roberts of the Fayette County Attorney’s Office, lawyer Tom Miller, psychologists James Clark and Elizabeth Croney, Commander Lawrence B.

Weathers of the Lexington police, and Virginia Luftman of the UK Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic.

Other projects are:

t Choices Health Advisory Team (CHAT)
This is a non-disciplinary team of five teachers, chosen by students, to serve as resources that students can contact with drug and alcohol concerns, particularly if they are worried about another student.

t Coaches Education
Choices Committee members partnered with school counselor Blythe Jamieson to encourage 35 Sayre team coaches to attend a Coaches Breakfast. The program, sponsored by DrugFreeLex, educated coaches about the detrimental effects of alcohol on athletic performance and training.

Said Barnett: “Because of the very professional people we bring in for the educational sessions, our group is taken seriously by parents.”