Children's Village program offers sobering lesson for teens

February 27, 1997


Staff Writer

Photographs of fatal accident scenes are shockingly graphic ways of showing the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

"It's, `Look what can happen to you, because these accidents happened in Washington County, where you live,'" said Maryland State Trooper 1st Class Troy McDonough, who will use the snapshots in a special drug and alcohol awareness program for teens at Children's Village of Washington County.

The free program, open to all Washington County high school students, will provide several strong doses of reality, including a demonstration of how alcohol impairs a person's ability to pass a roadside sobriety test, McDonough said.


It also will give students an opportunity to earn a few Student Service Learning hours, provided they share what they learn with others at their school, said Fred Jacobs, Student Service Learning coordinator for the Washington County school system.

Just over 25 percent of the school system's 1,085 seniors have not earned all of the 75 service learning hours they need to graduate, Jacobs said.

McDonough likes the idea of requiring students to make a presentation to fellow students.

"That way that information is reaching a lot more people, and they're getting it from the peers," he said.

This is the first time Children's Village will offer a program aimed at teens, said executive director Marsha Tidler.

Since it opened in January 1991, the Mount Aetna Road facility has been the domain of much younger students, who are taught about safety by local firefighters and police officers, she said.

Most students attend the free two-day safety program, which includes a tour of a house destroyed by a grease fire, in second grade, Tidler said.

Tidler said Maryland State Police Lt. Bruce Tanner approached her on Tuesday about putting together a teen program to observe National PTA Alcohol/Drug Awareness Week, March 2 to 8.

The program will be offered three times in the coming week, Tidler said.

Sessions are to be held March 4 from 4 to 7 p.m., March 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. and March 8 from 9 to 1 p.m.

Reservations are required.

Because of space restrictions, each session will be limited to 45 students.

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