Guiding Good Choices

The North Reading Community Impact Team’s Youth Substance Use Prevention Coalition is pleased to offer Guiding Good Choices in a four-part workshop free to the community. This interactive program is open to all parents, grandparents, and caregivers of children ages 9-14. In a lively, open and confidential atmosphere, participants will learn specific strategies to help their children avoid substance use and other high-risk behaviors. Participants will learn how to set clear family boundaries on substances, practice skills to strengthen family bonds, help their children develop healthy behaviors, and increase protective factors.

The evidence-based Guiding Good Choices program was developed by Dr. J. David Hawkins and Dr. Richard F. Catalano of the University of Washington. Their research has shown that when children are bonded to their caregivers, peers, and schools in safe and supportive ways, they are less likely to initiate substance use. Drug-Free Communities Grant Director Amy Luckiewicz noted, “This program is in direct alignment with our mission to prevent youth substance use in North Reading. We love that this program is science-based and interactive, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer it free to any caregiver who wants to learn.” Guiding Good Choices Program Coordinator Christie Perrone added, “We’re so lucky that we have dedicated community members who stepped up to become trained in this program. We hope that the peer teaching model facilitates learning even more.” Luckiewicz continued, “We understand that four weeks is quite a commitment, but we know that these families will bond and the benefit will far outweigh the time investment.”

Registration for the four-part series is free and includes free babysitting and dinner. The series will be offered from 6:00pm to 8:30pm at the North Reading Police Station Training Room in three cohorts:

Cohort 1 will be offered Thursdays on October 3, October 10, October 17, and October 24. It will be instructed by Guiding Good Choices Program Coordinator Christie Perrone and community members Melissa Grew and Sandy Garniss.

Cohort 2 will be offered Tuesdays on October 8, October 15, October 22, and October 29. It will be instructed by Youth Services Director Jennifer Ford and community members Jason Slattery and Laina Simone.

Cohort 3 will be offered Tuesdays on October 29, November 5, November 12, and November 19. It will be instructed by Health Department Nurse Pam Vath and community member Heather LaVerdiere.

In addition to the above facilitators, DFC Director Amy Luckiewicz and Substance Abuse/Mental Health Clinician Laura Miranda will participate. Participants are asked to commit to all four weeks. In order to maintain confidentiality, program weeks cannot be “swapped” between cohorts.

To register, CLICK HERE
For a printable flyer, CLICK HERE

Please contact the team at or call (978)357-5054 with any questions.