Teenagers who are emerging to the world of dating will have a chance to learn about healthy teen dating relationships on Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Fifth Annual “Choose Respect” teen dating conference from 1-4 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Center of the Montgomery College Takoma Park campus.
Teens, parents and youth service providers are invited to the free event that will enable attendees to participate in interactive, educational workshops. Workshops aimed at students in Grades 8-12 will focus on dating abuse, domestic violence and how to identify and promote healthy relationships. Workshops geared toward students in Grades 6 and 7 will focus on the dynamics of healthy friendships. Adult attendees will learn how dating violence affects teens, and the importance of starting a dialogue about these issues. The workshops will be presented in both English and Spanish.
Those wishing to attend can pre-register at www.chooserespect2014.eventbrite.com
Check-in begins at 12 noon and the first 50 people through the door will receive a $10 restaurant gift card.
The Cultural Arts Center of the Takoma Park campus of Montgomery College is located at 7995 Georgia Ave. in downtown Silver Spring. Among those expected to attend are Montgomery County Council President Craig Rice; Councilmember Phil Andrews, who has served as chair of the County’s Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee; and Councilmembers Marc Elrich and Hans Riemer.
The conference, which is organized by the County’s Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and the Office of the County Sheriff, will include a performance by the Eclipse Performing Dance Company, a professional modern/contemporary dance company that will perform selections from its production “Storm.” Raffle prizes for teen participants ranging in value from $25-$200 will be awarded and snacks will be available throughout the event, including pizza and drinks that will served at the closing of the event. Toby Knapp, a deejay at radio station Hot 99.5, and Jackie Bensen, a reporter with NBC News4, will be the co-emcees of the event.
Interactive workshops will teach participants how to “Piece Together Healthy Relationships” and how to identify and avoid abusive relationships.
During the event, the winners of the 2014 Choose Respect Public Service Announcement Contest will be announced. Teenagers have been working throughout the year to produce videos that can be shown to their peers in an attempt to increase awareness of situations that could become bad or violent dating relationships.
For more information about the conference, including English and Spanish versions of the conference flyer, go to: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/fjc/news.html
More information also is available by calling 240-777-7075 or by e-mailing Tom Manion at Thomas.Manion@montgomerycountymd.gov
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