For Immediate Release
Contact: Maria Zone
Director of Communications
Archdiocese of Hartford
(860) 541-6491 ext. 127
Archbishop Invites Families to Take Part in 2nd Annual Family Day on September 24th
HARTFORD, Conn. – Studies show that 33% of 13-year-olds have friends who drink regularly, and 99% of all teenagers will be offered drugs before they graduate from high school. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbiaä), these alarming statistics can be overcome by getting together for regular family dinners. This is why Archbishop Henry J. Mansell is encouraging families across the Archdiocese of Hartford to observe Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner With Your Children on Monday, September 24th.
More than a decade of research by CASAColumbiaä shows that the more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or abuse drugs. While there are no silver bullets – substance abuse can strike any family regardless of ethnicity, affluence, age or gender – the parental engagement fostered at the dinner table can be a simple and effective tool to help parents prevent substance abuse in children. Parents need to engage their teenagers in conversations about their friends, the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and their interests. The key for parents is to listen carefully and respond to their children’s questions thoughtfully.
The Archdiocese of Hartford is spreading the word about Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner With Your Children by: producing public service announcements to air on WJMJ Catholic Radio; featuring articles in the Catholic Transcript; and sharing information through the Office of Religious Education, the Office of Catholic Schools, the Family Life Office, the Office of Black Catholic Ministries, and Catholic Charities.
In observance of Family Day, Catholic Charities Family Centers in Hartford, Waterbury and New Haven will expand their “Dinner and Story” programs to include Family Day activities on September 24th. Reservations are required, as space is limited. For a list of the family centers that are participating, visit: archdioceseofhartford.org.
Meanwhile, the Office of Catholic Schools is inviting their students to participate in a poster contest to design next year’s Family Day poster. The winner will receive an iPod. Family Day began as a grassroots initiative in 2001, and has grown to become a nationwide celebration.