Whiting Library holds info coffee seeking Trustee candidates; Derry residents tapped for drug abuse prevention panel; State launches cannabis ed campaign

You can make an important contribution to your community and Whiting Library by becoming a trustee. The most important qualification is that you love the library and want to help it grow. You are invited to an informational coffee at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 in the lower level Community Room of the library, 117 Main St., to learn more about what it means to be a trustee – and how to become one.

The Whiting Library is seeking people to run for Trustee.

As a trustee, you are an essential link between the community and the library.
As a trustee, you will work with like-minded people, helping to shape an organization that touches the lives of everyone in the community

Your own understanding of our library and community will grow. “I became a trustee about 10 years ago,” says Board Chair, Kathy Pellett. “I used the library for many years, and of course, like everyone, I relied on it when I wanted to borrow a book. My knowledge of what the library offered was limited; however, that changed after becoming a trustee. I discovered the library is much more than books – it’s a total community resource center. If you like being a contributing member of the community, being a trustee of Whiting Library is a wonderful and rewarding opportunity!”

This invitation is open to everyone in Chester and Andover who loves the Whiting Library and wants to help it grow. To RSVP, call Kathy Pellett at 875-1372 or email her at kpellett@vermontel.net if you have any questions.

Derry residents tapped for state substance abuse prevention panel

The Collaborative announces that Executive Director Maryann Morris  has been appointed to a two-year term to the state Substance Misuse Prevention Oversight and Advisory Council by Commissioner of Health, Dr. Mark Levine.

Maryann Morris, executive director of The Collaborative in Londonderry, has been tapped for a statewide council.

Also appointed to a two-year term was Londonderry resident Skylar Dryden, a 10th grade student at Burr and Burton Academy who has been participating in the Collaborative’s leadership program.

“Having both Maryann and Skylar serving on the Substance Misuse Prevention Oversight & Advisory Council is an asset to our entire state. It is a testament to the amazing work that has been done in our community for years by The Collaborative, with Maryann at the helm,” said state Rep. Kelly Pajala, who represents the Windham-Bennington-Windsor District.

Skylar is a longstanding participant of The Collaborative’s leadership programming including Extended Day Program, Youth Engaged Learning Leadership, VKAT — Vermont Kids Against Tobacco, Above the Influence and Refuse to Use. Skylar is an active voice throughout about the risks of vaping.

Under Morris’ guidance, Bennington, Western Windham and Southern Windsor counties have greatly benefited from her establishing effective partnerships on local, state and national levels.

The Substance Misuse Oversight & Advisory Council ultimately will compile recommendations to the governor and General Assembly for “improving prevention policies and programming throughout the state and to ensure that population prevention measures are at the forefront of all policy determinations.”

State Health Dept. launches cannabis awareness campaign

BURLINGTON

Vermont is ranked as one of the healthiest states, but Vermonters have one of the highest rates of marijuana use. Now that it’s legal in the state for adults 21 years or older to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis, the Vermont Department of Health has launched Let’s Talk Cannabis, a web resource of science-based information aimed at increasing awareness about cannabis and how it affects our bodies, minds and health.

State embarks on public awareness campaign over cannabis use.

Let’s Talk Cannabis offers facts, tips and actionable resources for several audiences, including youth and young adults, people who are breastfeeding, parents and health care professionals.

“With changes in the legal landscape surrounding possession and use, it’s important that people understand how it can affect their health,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “As with all substance use, consumption of cannabis can be unhealthy. Let’s Talk Cannabis gives Vermonters the information they need to make safe and informed choices.”

Levine said certain groups are at greater risk of serious health problems associated with cannabis use, including people who breastfeed or are pregnant. “Cannabis use can harm your baby,” said Levine. “If you’re pregnant or are planning to be, or you breastfeed your infant, it’s very important that you not use cannabis in any form.”

The department is also hoping to reach young people. While it is illegal in Vermont for anyone under the age of 21 to consume or possess cannabis, national data shows that more people in the state age 12 and up are using marijuana compared to the U.S. overall. The number of Vermonters ages 12 to 17 who try it for the first time is also higher than the country as a whole. The news is better among older teens. According to the 2017 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey, most high school students said they were not using marijuana, with only 24 percent reporting any use in the past 30 days.

“Marijuana use changes teens’ brains, bodies and behaviors,” said Levine. “Let’s Talk Cannabis is designed to provide relatable information to young Vermonters, so they can understand how the drug influences their bodies and thinking.”

The educational effort complements other available resources, including ParentUpVT.org, where parents and others can find information and tips about having the sometimes difficult conversations with their kids about substance use and misuse, including cannabis.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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