April 15, 2014
Prevention and Recovery Services and Safe Streets recently conducted an event at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. Reality Tour 2014 began on March 30 and ended March 31. The event focused on poor decisions concerning alcohol, drugs and tobacco and how they impact a family and community members.
The event brought together law enforcement officials, ambulance service personnel, Stormont-Vail nurses and correction officers from the local detention facility, as well as funeral items from Penwell Gabel. The community was able to come together and show parents and teenagers the severity of their own choices. Individuals on the Reality Tour learned what “just drinking a beer” underage could do to a whole community. The event followed the poor decision of a teenager, from getting checked into jail to being admitted to the emergency room.
Death was the subject of the final scene, where individuals reflected on their own lives while facing their mortality. The event was free for parents and teens who registered to participate. After speaking with parents, I know many of them thought the event was the best way to get through to their high school- and middle school-aged children. It made them understand the magnitude of these important decisions in a child’s life.
Because the TSCPL has so many well-educated professionals, we were able to put on this event without a hitch. We are lucky to have the library, with all its educational activities and a safe place for kids to go after school. Without PARS, Safe Streets, the countless volunteers and the library staff, the event wouldn’t have been such a success.
JAMIE SLACK, Topeka