First Awareness Alliance conference set for Oct. 27

Monday, September 21, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- When members of the Putnam County Chaplaincy began looking for conference partners to provide some type of community education, they called Putnam County United Way Director David English.

"They were looking for some way to positively impact the community. One of my jobs with United Way is to bring people together to form partnerships. That is what the Awareness Alliance is all about," said English.

On Oct. 27, the Awareness Alliance, made up of the United Way, Putnam County Hospital and the Chaplaincy Association will present a conference to bring awareness of key issues facing Putnam County youth to the forefront. They will provide information for youth and families as well as many of the people who touch the lives of students. It is specifically targeted toward at-risk children.

There will be two sessions to assist everyone who has daily contact with youth. The day session is reserved for teachers, principals, guidance counselors and local agencies. Keynote speaker is Naomi Hayes-Griffin, an expert on emotional abuse.

"She will lead the group on a journey of highs and lows within emotional support and abuse. She is an excellent speaker," said English.

A workshop and question and answer session will also take place. A number of local agencies and community organizations will be available to answer questions and provide information on current local services.

Continuing education credits will be available for those attending the day session, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The evening session is open to youth in grades six to 12 and their parents or guardians. This is a fun-filled evening including music, games and door prizes throughout the evening.

Each half-hour, a student organization will offer skits, plays and alternatives to key issues -- drugs, premarital sex and tobacco, among others. Local agencies will also be available to provide information to parents and guardians regarding local programs and services currently available in Putnam County.

Location for the event will be announced soon. There will be a small fee for the day session. It includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Contact David English at the United Way at 653-6031 by Oct. 20 to reserve a spot.

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