August 20, 2015 at the Townshend Public Library from 3:00-4:30pm

Introductions and Announcements:

– Health Needs Assessment presentation, August 26th at 4pm, Grace Cottage cafeteria

– Wellness Fair at the Brattleboro Retreat, September 19 11-2

– Turning Point Recovery Center’s Grand Opening, September 11 from 12-1:30pm (39 Elm Street, Brattleboro)

– Refuse to Use kickoff event at Leland and Gray for students and parents/caregivers, September 16th at 6pm

– Thrives will offer Active Parenting of Teens this fall,  a skill-building curriculum for parents/caregivers of youth ages 11-18, classes will be held 6 Thursday evenings in October and November

– Third Saturday Concert Series and Dinner at the Townshend Town Hall, put on by Community Hope and Action, starts in October

Hope and Action T-shirt Discussion:

Hope and Action had received a donation from Kindle Farm School that will pay for T-shirts to be made with the artwork of Jamis Lott. The group looked at the various designs Hope and Action is considering and critiqued them to assist the group in moving forward with a final design for printing.

Update on Current Thrive’s Projects: 

– We will be hearing whether or not we got the Drug Free Communities Grant funding in just a week or so…fingers crossed!

– Refuse to Use, a program created by the Collaborative and Stratton Mountain, is being adopted by Leland and Gray this year! Students pledge to remain substance free for the year and in turn receive a $50 season pass to the mountain. The kickoff event for this program will happen September 16 at L&G.

– Above the Influence (ATI) is currently recruiting 7th graders for the Edge of Leadership training that will happen this coming October 17th and 18th. “The Above the Influence/Edge of Leadership is an adventure experience that pushes the limits of both students and advisors to discover the confidence found in hard work, collaboration and success. In the true spirit of adventure, this program partners motivated students with recognized educators to explore the important resource and significant role that student leaders play in school culture”

– Active Parenting of Teens Curriculum (see above)

West River Valley Thrives “Talking Points”:

In conjunction with our Capacity Building work plan, Thrives has considered creating “talking points” in order to make it easier for members/volunteers to speak about the work that we do. Talking points will allow the group to have a unified voice in explaining who we are and what we seek to do, allowing others to more easily understand our message. The group looked at our current mission and goals and proceeded to have a brainstorming session.

We first talked about the what, how and why of what we do. What – preventing access to substances and changing social norms that promote substance abuse. How – educate about alternative activities, offer healthy alternatives, change attitudes, policy. Why – because the data (Youth Risk Behavior Survey) shows there’s a problem in this area.


Some other ideas that came up:

  • We “connect services”
  • We fill a gap or try to
  • We want this to be a great community for kids to grow up in
  • “delay substance use by youth”
  • Could talking points guide coalition meetings in future?
  • How do we differ/overlap with other local groups?
  • Talking points could go in volunteer packet once it’s created

West River Valley Thrives “Work Groups”:

With the hope that we will receive the DFC funding this month, we discussed the potential for some work groups to be created. These work groups would allow members/volunteers to get involved in one or more projects that they take a personal interest in. Some ideas were:

  • parent engagement committee
  • outreach committee
  • publicity/media
  • student interns

Future Meeting Topics:

While this meeting was more of an update/brainstorming session, future meetings will likely include a topic and some type of activity/educational piece. The group came up with a couple of ideas for future meetings:

  • invite local physicians/pharmacists for a panel discussion with the group

Next Meeting Date: TBD

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