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National Speaker To Address Teen Issues

Skamania County partners offer sessions on Jan. 18 and 19

On January 18 and 19, a broad group of partners in Skamania County are coming together to offer a set of powerful discussions, guided by national expert Katie Koestner, for parents, students and interested community members on the very sensitive subjects of violence, sexual assault, drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, bullying, dating/relationships, eating disorders and when relationships turn from innocent to potentially threatening.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at Wind River Middle School, Koestner will lead an interactive community discussion about tough issues facing families today.

Through this presentation, Koestner will talk about her own experience of date rape and share stories from students across the country as well as important statistics and other information about the world of teen relationships.

Koestner has worked with over 1,000 communities across the country. Her audiences have included the incoming cadets at West Point as well as members of the US Congress and numerous schools.

On Wednesday, Jan. 19, Koestner will do separate presentations with sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Wind River, including students from Stevenson-Carson schools as well as from adjacent districts, and another session with all high school students at SHS. In the afternoon, district staff and invited community partners will spend the afternoon in-service working with Koestner.

In all the presentations, Koestner will reinforce the need for respect -- for others and self, learning and using the ability to say "No" to dangerous or risky behavior and choices, dispelling the "Barbie doll" culture for our girls and emphasizing a positive masculinity for our boys.

She will also provide enhanced, appropriate communication skills for many of today's tough issues.

The presenting sponsors -- Stevenson-Carson School District, Skamania County Counsel on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Skamania County Sheriffs Department, Skamania County Counseling Center, Educational Service District 112, WSU Extension Skamania County, Klickitat Skamania Community Network and 21st Century BRIDGES Afterschool Program -- encourage parents and community members to attend the Tuesday evening presentation at Wind River Middle School. Parents may also attend either of the two student presentations on Wednesday.

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