School briefs

March 27, 2006

Students slated to compete in Skills USA state championships

FREDERICK, Md. - Ninety-five students and 28 staff members from the Frederick County Career and Technology Center were scheduled to travel to Catonsville Community College, the Center for Applied Technology North and Anne Arundel Community College's Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute on March 24 and 25 to compete in the 33rd annual SkillsUSA Maryland State Championships.

Students competed in 40 different competitions and progressed through local and regional competitions to earn the chance to compete at the state championships.

Registration, delegate assembly and the Teamworks competition were scheduled for Friday, with the majority of the contests slated for Saturday.

State winners will compete in June in Kansas City, Mo.

Town hall meetings to prevent underage drinking scheduled

The Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking, in partnership with state and local agencies and organizations, is spearheading a nationwide campaign to curb underage drinking before it starts.


Town hall meetings are being convened on and around March 28 in approximately 1,200 communities across the country.

In Hagerstown, the meeting will be hosted by the Washington County Health Department Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Northern Middle School at 701 Northern Ave.

For information about the local meeting, e-mail Melissa Lewis at

In 50 or more communities across the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, people will meet to learn more about the latest research on the impact of underage drinking on both individuals and the community, and to discuss how their community can best prevent underage alcohol use.

Research shows that parents of teens generally underestimate the extent of alcohol used by youth and its negative consequences, with parents viewing underage drinking as "inevitable."

According to the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, roughly 10.8 million people between the ages of 12 and 20 (28.7 percent) reported current alcohol use. Of these underage drinkers, 4.4 million were between the ages of 12 and 17. Approximately 11.1 percent of 12-year-olds reported using alcohol at least once in their lifetimes. By age 13, the percentage doubles, and by age 15, it is more than 50 percent.

The town hall meetings will feature recently released public service announcements, developed in collaboration with the Ad Council, that bear the theme "Start Talking Before They Start Drinking."

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the lead federal agency for improving the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment and mental health services.

Town hall meetings are sponsored by the Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee to Prevent Underage Drinking, which includes the Administration for Children and Families, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Federal Trade Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Office of the Surgeon General and SAMHSA.

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