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Healthy Families/Healthy Youth Program in Santa Cruz County

The Governor’s Office of Youth Faith and Family in conjunction with the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent, Alfredo I. Velásquez, sponsored five Healthy Families/Healthy Youth events which were held in the county throughout the month of September. The goal of the program is to prevent drug abuse and addiction through education and training. Middle school and county staff received training in July. The program consists of separate parent and youth sessions plus joint sessions where families are encouraged to develop family plans. Ultimately, families open up lines of communication in hopes that such discussion leads to substantive dialogue regarding drug and alcohol use.!
All seventh graders in the county were invited to participate along with a parent(s) and/or guardian. Events were held at Wade Carpenter Middle School, Desert Shadows Middle School, Calabasas School, Coatimundi Middle School and at Little Red School. The event at Little Red included students from Elgin and Patagonia.

The events were well-attended across the county. Students and parents received valuable information including dinner and t-shirts along with incentives promoting drug-free messages. Representatives from ASU administered surveys in hopes of collecting data that will provide feedback and support for the program. Ms. Nikki Lazarus-Green, representing the Governor’s Office, was also in attendance at one of the events. Local outreach agencies were available and provided information, materials, and brochures. Agencies participating included Circles of Peace, Community Health Associates, Arizona Youth Partnership, Wellness Connections, Zero OS3 Movement, and Mariposa Community Health Center.
For further information regarding the Healthy Families/Healthy Youth program, please contact Teresa Sprigg, Program Director at the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office at 375-7952.

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