NORTH READING — Due to high demand, the North Reading Community Impact Team’s Youth Substance Use Prevention Coalition will again be offering the Guiding Good Choices parenting program this summer. The free workshop series is open to parents, grandparents and caregivers of children thanks to a grant provided by Winchester Hospital.

“Our turnout for the spring session was so well-attended that we added this session this summer,” explained Program Coordinator Christie Perrone, who added, “The feedback was outstanding!”

One participant noted, “This class was very worthwhile. I am so glad I attended. Much practical and concrete tools were given to help me strengthen my family and prevent possible future substance use.”

Another said, “This course was extremely valuable in helping to prepare me for parenting my child. I felt the tools could be easily applied to my life in helping my child navigate risky situations.”

“This program is perfectly timed before school starts and really gives parents the chance to make strong bonds,” noted Program Instructor Jen Ford. In fact, according to research by Dr. J. David Hawkins and Dr. Richard F. Catalano of the University of Washington, when children are bonded to their caregivers, peers and schools in safe and supportive ways they are less likely to initiate substance use and other high-risk behaviors.

The Guiding Good Choices series will be held on four consecutive Wednesdays. The topics to be discussed are:

  • July 27: Workshop 1 – Family Fundamentals and Values
  • August 3 Workshop 2 – Facing Family Conflicts and Risk Management
  • August 10 Workshop 3 – Setting Your Family Up for Success
  • August 17 Workshop 4 – Youth Substance Use and Mental Health 101

The program is facilitated by North Reading Youth Services Director Jennifer Ford and Youth Services committee member Jason Slattery. Both have been trained in the curriculum and have also led previous workshops.

The four-part series is being hosted by the Flint Memorial Library in the Activity Room (off the rear parking lot). Each session will include dinner and a weekly gift card raffle for all participants. Attending all four workshops is recommended to maximize learning.

To register for the introductory webinar or any of the program workshops, visit and click on “events.” Please contact Christie Perrone at or call 978-357-5054 with any questions.