Having A Pact Helps Keep Parents, Children In Tune

Organization Provides Fun, Forum For Understanding Problems

October 06, 1991|By Cindy Parr | Cindy Parr,Contributing writer

WESTMINSTER — Sarah Peer's parents show up at her school functions and transport her around.

And, perhaps surprisingly, 12-year-old Sarah appreciates it.

"My stepmom and my dad are really involved in what I do, and I like it because it makes me feel like they really care about me," said the Northwest Middle School seventh-grader.

"I like that they cometo my school functions and take me and my friends places."

Tomorrow, Sarah's parents, Laura Brittingham and Steven Peer, will take herand Alex Curtis, her 14-year-old stepbrother, to Profiles teen danceclub, at 56 W. Main St., where Parents And Children Talking will meet from 7 to 9 p.m.

"My husband and I both will bring the children to the PACT event, because that's what we do," said Brittingham, a Taneytown resident.

"If more parents would attend events with their kids, they would have a better understanding of what their kids are about and a better handle on what they are going through."

PACT offers parents and their children, 11 and over, the opportunity to talk about youth issues, such as pregnancy, suicide, drug

and alcohol abuse, family communication and peer pressure.

"People should really be aware of these issues," said Sarah. "There are kids in seventh and eighth grade who are experimenting with sex, drinking and taking steroids.

"Their parents don't seem to know what's going on," she said. "They bring them to events and just drop them off and let them do what they want. It makes me sad to see this."

"It will be neat,"said Alex, a ninth-grader at Francis Scott Key High School. "I know a lot of my friends are going.

"We will get to talk about pressures teens face that shouldn't go on," he said. "If people were more aware, they could help stop it."

PACT was initiated in 1989 by the Governor's Council on Adolescent Pregnancy to address issues of teen pregnancy and family communication.

The event at Profiles was planned by Carroll's Interagency Committee on Teen Pregnancy and Preventionand Parenting, which includes representatives from the county Board of Education, Health Department, Human Services Programs, Youth Services Bureau, Job Training Partnership Act, Social Services, Citizen Services, Juvenile Services and the Co

operative Extension Service.

"Our committee sat down about three months ago and began planning this event," said Chris Spicer, co-chairman of the committee. "We thought it would be creative to reword PACT and use it as our theme: "Profiles: A Chance to Talk."

"It was our opinion that teen pregnancyshould be just one of

the issues discussed at the event, since ithas been our experience that most peer pressures are interrelated."

The Governor's Council on Adolescent Pregnancy asked county groupsto organize a PACT event in October to bring attention to teen pregnancy and family communication, in connection with National Family Sexuality Educa

tion Month, said Spicer.

Foolproof, an improvisational theater group made up of county high school students, will perform skits and conduct a question-and-answer period during the first hour of the event.

"This will be our first show this year, and we are looking forward to it," said North Carroll drama teacher Roberta Rooney, who started Foolproof in 1987. "Our group will do a number of improvisational skits that relate to teen issues such as drug and alcohol abuse and teen pregnancy.

"Our skits are based on the members'original ideas, and after brainstorming them as a group, we rehearseuntil we feel comfortable enough to perform it," she said.

Following Foolproof, Profiles will provide a disc jockey and music for an hour of dancing.

"The kids and their parents can enjoy dancing or take time to look over the tables, which will be set up with information dealing with teen pregnancy and the other peer-pressure issues presented," said Spicer. "We are hoping that by bringing parents and their kids together, the lines of communication will be opened if they are not already."

"Profiles: A Chance to Talk" is sponsored by the Interagency committee on Teen Pregnancy and Prevention and Parenting,Profiles teen dance club and Foolproof.

"We really don't know howmany to expect, since the admission is free, and the majority of ouradvertising was through fliers posted in the middle and high school," Spicer said.

Information: 857-2999.

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