Greetings from the UBHCHY Chair

Greetings for a healthy, happy new year for 2013. I hope this note finds you well. It has been an extremely busy several months with coalition activities-several are highlighted with this newsletter. One of the most exciting undertakings over the past year has been our support of implementing the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) for Parents and Youth 10-14 . The SFP is a research-based program consisting of seven weekly, two-hour sessions for parents and their children ages 10-14. Begun in the Palisades school district last year through the support of the Parents in Action for Community Togetherness (PACT) coalition, we have now expanded our offerings of SFP to the Pennridge and Quakertown communities. The offerings in Pennridge and Quakertown have been made possible through a grant from the United Way of Bucks County.

Speaking of PACT, I would like to welcome Emily French as the new Community Mobilizer for PACT. Emily is a parent of two Palisades students and a long time resident of the district. She has a background in clinical work in the behavioral health field and hit the ground running in Palisades. Former Mobilizer, Karen Richter is still very involved with PACT and has recently been trained, (along with Robin Sherman) as an SFP trainer. Karen and Robin are now certified to train other adult facilitators to provide the SFP. Featured in this newsletter is also a story from PACT about their recent event they held in conjunction with the Palisades High School Homecoming Football game. A great idea that we hope continues in future years!

Also in this issue is a story about our most recent “Parent Chat” held on the topic of “Social Issues and Our High School Student.” UBHCHY Steering Committee Member, Judi Pason, continues to organize these events and reports another successful evening hosted by several Palisades School District staff. The idea of transitioning from middle to high school brings both joys and concerns for parents (and students). Judi reported the topic was enthusiastically discussed by all.

The UBHCHY Coalition continues to participate in the national Prescription Drug Take Back program. On September 29th, we once again had several sites in Upper Bucks where residents could drop off their unwanted or expired prescriptions. These national days are not the only time for people to drop off prescriptions since there are now permanent boxes placed in several police departments where people can use them any time. There are permanent boxes in police stations in the following police stations: Hilltown Township, Pennridge Regional, Quakertown, Richland Township and Springfield Township.

Finally in this issue we have included a wonderful poem written by Carter Pason regarding bullying prevention. Carter is a student at Palisades Middle School and he wrote the poem called “WOW” as part of his school’s social norms program held last year.

As we begin another new year I am sure for many of you if you are like me, have to stop and wonder every now and then- Are we making a difference? For every time we see some progress, setbacks occur. Certainly, the recent shootings in Newton have so many Americans and people from throughout the world questioning and wondering how we ended up in such a state. There will be thousands of words written about that answer in the months ahead. We offer no simple solutions, but our coalition did recently sign on to Position Statement to Prevent Violence about future directions. Please read it and distribute to as many people as you can. And remember- the best gift you can give a child this year (and every year) is simply your time and attention. A gift that costs no money, but pays huge dividends.

Happy New Year,

Lee Rush, Community Mobilizer


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