Organizations throughout the Denver Metro Area will be hosting family day events throughout the week to encourage families to eat together as part of the effort to prevent risky substance use in children and teens. Family Day: A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children is a national movement to celebrate parent engagement as an effective tool to help keep kids substance free.
According to the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey conducted in 2011, one in four Denver high school youth report binge drinking in the last 30 days. A study by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at the University of Columbia found that children who eat dinner with their family regularly are less likely to use alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. The Denver Resource for Awareness and Prevention (Denver RAP) has provided grant funding to organizations throughout the community to host a community Family Day event to help encourage families to eat together and provide information on how important parent discussions with children can be in preventing substance abuse. These organizations include:
- Aurora Youth Options
- Bennie E Goodwin
- Burma Community Rangers
- Cafe Cultura
- Catholic Charities
- Child Advocates-Denver CASA
- Clare Gardens
- Clayton Early Learning
- Colorado Health Foundation at Mariposa
- Denver Arts Society
- Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club
- Denver Inner City Parish and Life Line Colorado
- ECDC/African Community Center of Denver
- Florence Crittenton High School
- Johnson Elementary
- Learning for Life
- Mental Health Center of Denver
- New America School – Lowry
- NNHAN (Near Northeast Health Action Network)
- Padres Adelante Family Service Inc
- Parent Engagement Network
- Place Beacon Neighborhood Center
- Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning/Project Shine
- Summer Scholars
- The Bridge Project – Westwood
- Warren Village
- Westridge Housing Authority
- Westwood Residents Association
“Parents who spend time with their children can greatly influence their decisions simply by connecting with them regularly about their friends, their interests and discussing the risks of drinking and using other drugs,” said Jodi Lockhart, Outreach Director for Denver RAP.
Family meals provide a safe place for communication to flourish, allowing youth to ask questions about drugs and alcohol so parents can listen and reply thoughtfully.
National Family Day will be held today, Monday, September 23 in 2013. More information on this movement, conversation starters and facts on drugs and alcohol can be found at www.casafamilyday.org. Local resources can be found at www.denverrap.org.