Parents, teens learn more about healthy living

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Families came together this summer for workshops that promoted a healthy lifestyle.

Wilson County 4-H’s program, Your Life—Your Health, was a series of five workshops for teenagers and their parents. These workshops included topics such as underage drinking, drinking and driving prevention, drug use prevention, stress management, healthy eating and youth/adult communication techniques on sensitive topics.

Guest speakers, meals and fun activities filled each workshop from June 12 to July 10.

The following successfully completed the Your Life — Your Health program with perfect attendance: Akeya Barrett, Charlotte Edwards, Sherry Edwards, Alexis Perry, JaKeyah Staton, JaKiyah Staton, Talieya Tillery and De’Nyriah Woodard.

As a result of the program, 87 percent of all participants (those who attended any number of workshops) increased their knowledge on drugs, alcohol, stress, healthy foods and communication with adults. Other feedback indicated increased skills in talking friends out of trying drugs, choosing healthy behaviors to handle stress, saying no when offered illegal substances, and talking with adults about peer pressure.

Measurable behavior changes included thinking how using drugs or alcohol will affect his/her future, setting short- and long-term goals, focus on learning at school, managing stress in positive ways, and helping others avoid drugs, alcohol, unhealthy eating habits and stress.

Sponsors for this program included Wilson County 4-H, Wilson County Cooperative Extension, Wilson County ABC Board, N.C. ABC Commission and N.C. A&T State University.

Those who spoke or provided resources included Melissa Kanuck with the Wilson County Health Department, Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard, Catherine Smith with N.C. Wesleyan College, Kat Haney with the N.C. ABC Commission and Peggy and Josh Bennett.

For more information on this event or other 4-H programs, contact Jessica Harris, 4-H agent in Wilson County at 252-237-0113 or by email at jessica_harris@ncsu.edu.