85 Reveals..

  • By Tammy Trojanowski
  • 30 Nov, 2016
Youth Committee members Malcolm Brown, Chereé Wright, Shannon Tripodi and Kayla Simon, alongside Mayor John Harkins, and Chief McNeil

“85 Reveals That Most Teens Don’t Smoke Weed”

On November 7, 2016, the Youth Committee of the Stratford Partnership for Youth and Families launched a town-wide campaign, spreading the number '85' around school and town and asking "Do you ride with the 85?" Youth Committee members put up posters, magnets, sign; chalked sidewalks; and cupped fences with "85" to get people wondering what 85 means. It created plenty of "buzz" with many wanting to know its significance, but the Youth Committee was not telling anyone until the November 21 reveal.

“Lots of people were really interested in what the 85 meant. My friends wouldn’t let me leave school until I told them what it meant,” said Shannon Tripodi, junior at Stratford High School. Chereé Wright, sophomore at Stratford High School said, “Some people thought it was about driving. The campaign stumped everyone.”

On Monday, November 21, 2016, the Youth committee revealed that “It’s NO joke! 85% of teens don’t smoke weed!” The “85” stands for the percentage of Stratford 7-12th grade students that reported not using marijuana in the past 30 days based on Stratford’s Search Institute Survey that over 500 students took in the spring of 2016. In addition, other facts about marijuana use according to the survey were released, including 90% of Stratford teens say their parents disapprove, 59% of Stratford teens say their peers disapprove and 57% of Stratford teens say it is harmful.

Youth Committee Co-Chairs and juniors at Bunnell High School, Hannah McLaughlin Michelle Harrison said, “Covering the schools with magnets on nearly every locker caused the biggest reaction from students and teachers. Everyone was talking about what it could mean, and that was really the point of the campaign. We wanted to get people thinking about the 85 and craving an explanation, so that when it was revealed it meant something to them and encouraged students to ride with the 85. We hope that this campaign will help to increase that number. We thank everyone that supported and helped us spread this message to Stratford.”

Mayor John A. Harkins said, “I am so proud of the leadership and creativity demonstrated by the Partnership’s Youth Committee.  This campaign, by and for teens, encourages them to be part of the majority that does not smoke.”  Police Chief Joseph McNeil said, “It shows you how great the next generation is.”

The Stratford Partnership for Youth and Families’ is comprised of town and community leaders, youth and parents working to reduce youth substance abuse and create a safe, healthy and drug-free environment where youth and families thrive. For more information, visit   www.StratfordPartnership.org/ride85


By Tammy Trojanowski 05 May, 2017
Stratford Police Explorers with Albert Permonzono (center), owner of House of Spirits on Honeyspot Rd. From left: Ken Shafer, Sean Excellent, Advisor James Jackson, Devin Toth, Danielle Gordon and Anginette Repollet
By Tammy Trojanowski 20 Apr, 2017

Do you hear all that chatter? Stratford Partnership, in collaboration with Stratford Junior Woman’s Club and Town of Stratford Economic Development, has a new initiative to get Stratford families talking!

Our 'Restaurant Edition' Conversation Cards will debut during Stratford’s annual Restaurant Week from April 23 — 29, 2017 on the tables of over 30 participating restaurants. Each Conversation Card has a question, such as   What is the best way to spend a rainy day?   or   What makes you laugh the hardest?   While waiting to order or to eat, the cards hope to inspire diners to put down their cell phones and participate in fun, positive conversations.

These Conversation Cards are an asset building initiative following the Search Institute’s 40 developmental assets believed to promote healthy development in children and teens, from healthy self esteem, positive peer influence to preventing the use of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.

Research shows that when families have open lines of communication, families can more readily discuss more challenging topics, such as alcohol and other drugs. According to Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, teens that learn about the risks form their parents are up to 50% less like to try alcohol and marijuana.

Special thanks to all the restaurants for being a part of an Asset Building Community, to Stratford's Asset Building Classroom Asset Ambassadors for the great questions, and to our friends from Southington STEPS (SouthingtonSteps.org) for this phenomenal idea!!

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We can't wait to see your pictures!!

By Tammy Trojanowski 26 Mar, 2017
Despite popularity in the news and in our culture, marijuana legalization has many hidden costs to children, families, and communities. In the states where recreational marijuana is now legal, there has been an increase in both expenses and in lives and livelihood.
By Tammy Trojanowski 24 Mar, 2017


Stratford Partnership for Youth and Families, Stratford Library and Stratford Health Department will present the a special free screening of the acclaimed documentary, “Dying in Vein: The Opiate Generation” on Wednesday, April 5 from 6:30-9 pm at the Stratford Library, Lovell Room. The area premiere of the film will include a Q&A session with director Jenny Mackenzie, addiction specialists, as well as recovery and support programs.

Dying in Vein  is a deeply personal exploration of opiate and heroin addiction. Through these stories, the film explores the contemporary belief of 'living life pain free' and the shame and blame that exists around addiction.Award-winning filmmaker James Redford calls the documentary, “An extraordinarily intimate and beautiful film about one of America’s biggest public health tragedies.”

Some of the specialists who will be on hand for the one-to-one discussion following the film include Donna and Matt Deluca, Co-Founders of The Community Addiction & Recovery Education & Support (C.A.R.E.S.) Group and Chief Clinical Officer Jennifer Kolakowski and Division Director of Outpatient Services Carolee Paruta from the Recovery Network of Programs (R.N.P.).


By Tammy Trojanowski 04 Feb, 2017

The Youth Committee is currently accepting nominations for the   2017 MEDALS Awards!

To make a nomination- Simply submit a paragraph or two about why you think the individual (youth or adult), business or community organization makes a positive impact on the quality of life in Stratford and demonstrates leadership. Please include the nominee’s address, telephone number and e-mail along with your contact information for any follow-up questions.

All appropriate nominations will be recognized at the   June 13, 2017 MEDALS   award ceremony at Stratford Town Hall, Council Chambers.

The deadline to submit a nomination is Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Submit all nominations by e-mail to Anna Gasinski at agasinski@townofstratford.com or by mail to:

Youth Committee ~ Stratford Partnership for Youth and Families
c/o Stratford Community Services
468 Birdseye Street
Stratford, CT 06615

By Tammy Trojanowski 04 Feb, 2017

The Stratford Partnership Youth Committee has allocated a total of $1,600 from the Local Prevention Council grant to fund the 2016-17 grants. M.O.N.E.Y grant applications were due by December 12, 2016, and the Youth Committee held grant interviews on December 19, 2016.

After deliberation, the Youth Committee recommended funding 8 out of the 9 applications in the amount of $200 per recipient. The Partnership voted and approved the recommendation on January 17, 2017.

To view the recipients of the 2016-17 MONEY grants, click here.

By Tammy Trojanowski 30 Nov, 2016
Youth Committee members Malcolm Brown, Chereé Wright, Shannon Tripodi and Kayla Simon, alongside Mayor John Harkins, and Chief McNeil
By Tammy Trojanowski 23 Nov, 2016
Tammy Trojanowski, DFC Project Director, with Stratford Rotary Club President Lou Perno
By Tammy Trojanowski 21 Nov, 2016
Source: ride85
By Tammy Trojanowski 18 Nov, 2016

This week, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy released the first ever report specifically addressing alcohol, drugs and health. The Stratford Partnership for Youth and Families encourages everyone to read this historic report, which provides in-depth understanding of addiction as a disease.

The Surgeon General’s report validates our local efforts to build community collaboration to prevent youth substance use. We wholeheartedly agree that prevention works, treatment is effective, and recovery is possible. We believe that everyone can be part of the solution. The Stratford Partnership for Youth and Families welcomes anyone to join us who shares our mission to keep our youth and community safe and drug-free.

Read Surgeon General's Report   >>   https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/

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