Harford County Encourages Family Dinnertime Conversations about Drugs and Alcohol
on a “Night of Conversation” Wednesday, November 15
On Wednesday, November 15, Harford County parents and caregivers are invited to join in the county’s second annual Night of Conversation by having dinner with their families and talking to their children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Intended for families with children in pre-school through high school, the Night of Conversation is sponsored by Harford County government in partnership with Harford County’s public schools, libraries, sheriff’s office, health department and participating restaurants, grocery stores, and physicians. To aid the family discussions, “conversation cards” created by the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy and distributed throughout the community will offer tips for parents including age-appropriate conversation starters. Parents are also encouraged to help their kids practice refusal skills and plan how to escape peer-pressure situations. Participants in the Night of Conversation can take a short survey about their experiences and enter to win a $250 Visa gift card. Participants can also share their experiences on social media using the hashtag #HarfordTalks.
“Harford County’s Night of Conversation is growing with new and returning partners in a countywide effort to prevent the tragedy of addiction,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “Together we are supporting these important family conversations because no government program is as powerful as parents talking to their children.”
Harford County Public Schools will be distributing a magnetized version of the conversation cards, ideal for posting on the family refrigerator. School officials are also encouraging parents and caregivers to provide their feedback through the survey.
“We begin speaking with students in pre-kindergarten about making good choices and safe decisions,” said Barbara Canavan, Superintendent of Harford County Public Schools. “As students enter middle and high school, the decisions become more difficult. It is crucial that these dialogues take place not only in the schools, but also at home. These discussions are key to ensuring that from a very young age, our students know that the adults around them care and will listen. Their lives depend on it.”
Klein’s ShopRite and restaurants including Buontempo Brothers, Enotria, Fox & Fern, La Tolteca of Churchville and Aberdeen, Mountain Branch Grille & Pub, Pairing’s Bistro, Primavera Italian Restaurant, Riverside Pub & Grille, and Sunny Day Cafe have begun distributing close to 50,000 conversation cards to promote the Night of Conversation to patrons.
The Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy will also hold presentations and large group discussions from 5 – 7 p.m. on November 15 for members of the Boys and Girls Clubs at all four Harford County locations.
For a complete list of participating community partners that are distributing conversation cards; for links to the conversation starters and the survey, or to learn more about the Night of Conversation, please visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/nightofconversation or contact the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy at 410-638-3333.