Parents recently spearheaded a project, through Talbot Partnership and the Talbot County Public Schools, to provide sixth grade parents with a toolkit to help them with their children’s transition to middle school this school year. Families of students in Easton Middle School, St. MichaelsElementary School, Saints Peter and Paul Elementary School, The Country School, and ChesapeakeChristian School will receive the toolkits this month. The Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC), appointed by the Talbot County Council, identified that interventions for substance abuse occur too late. The BRC recently developed a strategy to increase parent education about substance abuse risks and prevention when children enter middle school.
Among the items included in the middle school toolkit is a key ring of TALK cards, which parents can use to initiate meaningful conversation on a variety of topics including drug, alcohol and/or tobacco, and peer relationships. The cards were designed to help youth better understand who they are and what’s important to them. The toolkit also includes a bookmark listing resources for parents and children, including recommended classes, books, and Web sites related to drug, alcohol, and/or tobacco issues. Additional items include a street drug information sheet, magnets for the TurnAround Program and for the Talbot TipLine for Underage Drinking, a mouse pad encouraging parents to talk to their children, and brochures on tobacco and alcohol refusal skills. The items will be given to families in blue nylon tote bags bearing the word “Talk.” Talk toolkits were funded by the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Cigarette Restitution Grant.