• Panel discussion to focus on reducing youth substance use; art show to highlight healthy choices

    To help parents talk with their children about substance use, Pivot and the Alliance for Better Communities are hosting a Community Talks event 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 5 at Salmon Run Mall in Watertown. 

    An expert panel featuring Ed Shelmelya from the National Marijuana Initiative, Joey Boswell from the Seaway Valley Prevention Council and Bill Bowman from Pivot will begin at 12:30 p.m. The discussion will center around the growing challenges that youth face in the constantly changing, fast-paced environments that they live and how these challenges impact their decision-making ability about healthy lifestyle choices and substance use. 

    In conjunction with the Community Talk Event, there will be free face painting and an art contest open to all Jefferson County students. The contest theme is “Show how YOU keep NNY healthy.” There are four grade categories that will be judged separately: kindergarten through grade 3, grades 4-6, grades 7-9 and grades 10-12. 

    Students in kindergarten through grade 3 may complete a designated coloring page as their submission. Students in grades 4-12 are encouraged to create an original art piece that shows how they stay healthy in Northern New York. Registration opens at 9 a.m., and judging will take place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There are a number of prizes, including a $500 award, an Apple iPad, gift cards and a mountain bike. 

    For more information about the panel discussion or the art show, contact Pivot at 315-788-4660 or acrescent@pivot2health.com