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March 1, 2016

MONROEVILLE PA – Allegheny County has recently picked up the grassroots parent & child drug prevention program Reality Tour. Gateway School District voted this past fall to purchase Reality Tour as a prevention measure for the district. Jennifer Turkowski, Assistant Principal at Gateway High School  and Resource Officer, Mark Kandrack has this to say, “Reality Tour is a ‘Real Life’ depiction of the potential dangers of drug use.  We feel that Reality Tour is a more realistic approach to the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.  The ‘Just Say No to Drugs’ philosophy in the past was successful but we feel in today’s society kids need to see these potential dangers rather than being told about them.” 

Gateway School District’s Reality Tour will be held at the Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Monroeville and will host their very first tour this month. This will be the first Reality Tour to start in Allegheny County  with more interest from Baldwin-Whitehall and Glassport areas to start the program like Gateway. 

Reality Tour is an evening experience is for parents and their children ages 10 and up to learn about the harmful effects of substance abuse. It is a MUST that parents attend with their child. During the tour parents and children are shown the consequences of one youths progressive choices to try drugs, listen to an educational presentation on risk factors and family coping skills, as well as a guided assessment of strengths and gaps in healthy habits. Each family is provided conversation starter tools and activities to implement at home. A law enforcement officer and a member of the recovery community will also be given the opportunity to share their experiences to the group.

Reality Tour, a project of the Butler based nonprofit CANDLE, Inc. has 18 replications of Reality Tour in Pennsylvania and replications in 5 other states.  They have just licensed their fourth California Reality Tour. Two provinces in Canada replicate the program as well.  Several more Allegheny County communities are working with CANDLE, Inc. to get a program started. 

For more information on this grassroots prevention program and the Gateway School District Reality Tour visit their newly redesigned website at www.RealityTour.org.

Reality Tour Developer and nonprofit CANDLE, Inc. Executive Director, Norma Norris started the program in Butler back in 2003. She wanted to do something about kids becoming addicted to drugs an dying from overdoses in her community. Her goal was to get parent child on the same page with the same information. The program delivers that information in an engaging manner, truthfully and consequence driven. For more information visit www.RealityTour.org.