STAR Council looking for tobacco-free kids

The Solutions Toward Addiction Recovery Council, a nonprofit organization that provides services to families suffering from substance abuse challenge and other services, is expanding its horizons in Cleburne.

One of the newest additions this year is a youth leadership program available for school-age children.

“This program is just now starting to get going,” said Harriet Frazier, director of STAR Council prevention services. “We are trying to get groups to meet at each campus.”

The idea came about while several were attending a conference.

“We attend the Texas Teen Tobacco Conference each year,” Frazier said. “Youth can go but they have to be involved in a club that has lasted all year. We came back wanting to start these groups in some of our schools. It will all be focused on Tobacco Free Texas.”

The groups will begin meeting in the next month or two, with groups planned for each campus in Cleburne ISD, she said.

They will meet for 5-10 minutes and discuss tobacco education.

In November, the groups will come together for a mid-year party. Participants will vote on a club name then. Another group party will be held in May.

After participating in the club meetings, the students will be eligible to attend the conference at the end of July in the Woodlands. Scholarships are available.

“It’s a wonderful program for them,” Frazier said. “They also have the chance to be Texas teen ambassadors that are on the council for the year, and they get to help plan this conference. It’s a really good program and they bring in lots of professionals and inspirational speakers and people who tell their stories of how tobacco affected their lives.”

This year the council will also work with teen court and offer opportunities for adults.

The organization always offers drug and substance abuse counseling.

The council estimates that this year the youth, adult and other programs will help more than 966 community members become sober.

The organization began in 1981, and it’s motto is “making the difference, one family at a time.”

For information on the leadership program or to volunteerings, call the Cleburne office at 817-645-5517 or Frazier at the home office at 254-965-5515.

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