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Workshop on Jan. 22 seeks to guide parents to connect with their kids

Craig Chamberlain, Education Editor
(217) 333-2894;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — How to connect with your kids – in particular in talking about substance abuse – will be the topic of a parenting workshop Jan. 22 (Saturday) at the University of Illinois.

All parents, soon-to-be parents and grandparents are welcome to attend the
half-day session, “It’s a Jungle Out There:  Connecting With Your Kids and Their World:  Peer Pressure, Self-Image, Media Influences, Drugs, Alcohol and Other Substances.”

The workshop will be from 7:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in Illini Rooms A, B and C at the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana.  Advance registration is required.  The cost of the program is $5 for U. of I. faculty and staff members, and $10 for community members.  Full-fee scholarships are available upon request.

The workshop will deal with many of the complex issues children and teens face each day, providing parents with factual information, as well as with life skills and strategies for interacting positively with their children.  A resource fair will feature exhibits of local organizations serving parents and children.

One featured speaker will be James Dedera, a pharmacist who has been active in drug prevention education for 25 years.  He has spoken in nearly 1,000 schools in Illinois, giving presentations to students, faculty and community members.

Also speaking will be Kathy Jobin, a certified alcohol- and drug-prevention specialist with Illinois Churches Action on Alcohol Problems (ILLCAAP).  Jobin is the director of the organization’s Teen Board, a group of Illinois high school students who promote a drug-free lifestyle.  The students will present skits and a panel discussion as part of the workshop.

In addition to the speakers and skits, about half the morning will be taken up with two hour-long sessions in which participants will have their choice among five topics: kids’ perspective on “the jungle,” featuring ILLCAAP students; what parents need to know about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; what to do if your child or his or her friends might be using drugs; media messages; and life skills for kids and parents.

The workshop, the third in a series, is sponsored by the university’s Office of Continuing Education, Faculty/Staff Assistance Program, and vice chancellor for administration and human resources, along with Prairie Center and the Pavilion.

For questions or to receive a copy of the flier and registration form, call Wayne Duke or Debra Edinger at (217) 333-1462.