Middle school students, parents invited to Youth Services workshops

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, in connection with the Union County Youth Services Commission, is inviting middle school students and their parents to attend the inaugural Union County Youth Services Commission Engagement Middle School Summit.

The event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m. at the Union County College, Kellogg Building located at 40 West Jersey St. in Elizabeth.

“The Freeholder Board is proud to be able to support this event,” said Freeholder Vernell Wright. “It is an exciting opportunity to support the growth and empowerment of our youth while in the same context providing parents and caregivers with tools to help their children succeed.”

Through a series of workshops for students and their chaperones, the Summit is designed to help students take control of their future by providing them with information and resources to guide them in making wise decisions and help them mature into productive young adults.

The available workshops include:

• Teen Communicating To Win: Reading Around the World, Student Workshop — Designed to introduce students to the power of fables which can provide valuable insight about morals and life lessons, as well as expand knowledge about specific cultures.

• Violence Prevention, Student Workshop — Will discuss youth violence and its impact so that participants can understand the long-term effects of violence on families.

• Interactive Performing Arts, Student Workshop — Designed to raise awareness and demonstrate the unique power that the arts play in youth development.

• Peaceful Alternative to Tough Solutions (PATTS), Student Workshop — Designed to help students resolve issues without fighting back by practicing basic mediation skills.

• Youth Achieving Success Workshop for Caregivers, Parent Workshop — Will provide parents/guardians with information on how to decrease the likelihood of involvement in the juvenile justice system with emphasis on parenting skills.

• Current Drug and Alcohol Trends in Union County, Parent Workshop — Will equip parents with the tools needed to identify risky behaviors related to substance abuse through early intervention and prevention strategies.

The program will also include presentations by The Institute of Music for Children, Prevention Links, the Youth Advocate Program Inc. of Essex/Union County, Family and Children’s Services, Care Plus, NJ, and Boxwood Development Services. Rev. Charles Atkins, Chaplain with the N.J. Department of Corrections’ Garden State Youth Correctional Facility, and Union County Sheriff, Ralph Froehlich will each serve as keynote speakers.

A continental breakfast as well as a closing lunch will be served.

To register for the Summit please visit www.ucnj.org/middleschoolsummit. Preregistration is required by Monday, Nov. 26; there will be no on-site registration.

The Union County Youth Services Commission Engagement Middle School Summit is made possible through support from the Juvenile Justice Commission and the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.