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Community Partners Join Riverhead Central School District for Prom Safety Meetings

June 17, 2024
RHS Prom Safety Meetings 1

Community Partners Join Riverhead Central School District for Prom Safety Meetings

Students and Families Learn to Celebrate the Season in Healthy Manner

RIVERHEAD, NEW YORK (JUNE 2024)—Riverhead Central School District partnered once again with Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC), the Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Inc. (CAP), and the Riverhead Police Department for its annual prom safety meetings. Riverhead High School seniors and their parents were informed of the dangers of underage drinking and substance use, particularly during prom and graduation season, and how such can adversely affect young people and their futures. In order to bolster safety and healthy decision making, students were required to attend one of the two meetings with a parent or guardian in order to purchase a prom ticket. Over 480 students, parents, and guardians attended these crucial meetings, enhancing community education and substance abuse prevention.

“The prom safety meetings have become well-supported in our community,” said Riverhead CAP community prevention specialist Cynthia Redmond. “When the meetings first began in 2017, there were several complaints regarding the mandatory attendance in order to purchase a prom ticket. Our students and families, however, have grown accustomed to this practice, and they truly appreciate the care and concern the district and its community partners have for the students when they are with us and about to leave us for the next step on their journeys.”

Chair of Emergency Medicine Dr. Ninfa Mehta and emergency room physician Dr. Megan Slowey from Peconic Bay Medical Center—which recently announced the opening of its newly expanded Poole Family Trauma and Emergency Center—discussed the short-term and long-term effects of substance abuse on one’s health. Riverhead Police Department Sergeant Dino Isgro conveyed the legal implications of underage drinking and marijuana use and the consequences of driving under the influence. The Good Samaritan Law was explained, which provides legal protection for those who experience a medical emergency related to substance use as well as those who observe and report such. Sergeant Isgro also warned parents and guardians about the legal penalties adults face under the Social Host Law when they knowingly allow underage drinking and drug use in their homes.

In addition, PBMC and Riverhead CAP donated four prom tickets that were raffled off, and graduating seniors were bestowed with gift bags to thank them for attending these important meetings.

“Peconic Bay Medical Center values our continuing partnership with Riverhead Central School District as we continue to promote the health and safety of our community and enhance the opportunities that lie ahead for our youth,” said PBMC Executive Director Amy Loeb, EdD., MBA, R.N. “It is an honor to use our resources to educate students and their families, and Dr. Mehta and Dr. Slowey wonderfully conveyed this crucial information that saves lives.”

Throughout the school year, the Riverhead Central School District has partnered with PBMC and Riverhead CAP on numerous events and programs to bolster student leadership and opportunities and provide community engagement. These collaborative efforts include Riverhead High School’s healthcare career fair with PBMC, the recent Riverhead CAP Say NO to Drugs March at Pulaski Street Intermediate School, and the Riverhead Youth Coalition program through Riverhead CAP at Riverhead Middle School and Riverhead High School, which helps students participate in community-based initiatives to combat substance abuse.

“The Riverhead Central School District thanks Peconic Bay Medical Center, Riverhead CAP, and the Riverhead Police Department for joining us in our crucial mission to enhance safety before, at, and after prom and graduation,” said Riverhead Central School District Interim Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich. “Through coordination with our community partners, we brought in a great deal of expert knowledge to provide our students and their families with the tools they need to enjoy this joyous season to the fullest.”

For more information about the Riverhead Central School District, please visit the district’s website at www.riverhead.net. Happenings in the district can also be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/riverheadCSD. #BlueWavesPride.

 

RHS Prom Safety Meetings 1

From left, Riverhead High School Assistant Principal Dorene Mongiello, Riverhead Police Department Sergeant Dino Isgro, PBMC Chair of Emergency Medicine Dr. Ninfa Mehta, and Riverhead CAP community prevention specialist Cynthia Redmond at a Riverhead prom safety meeting

RHS Prom Safety Meetings 2

From left, PBMC emergency room physician Dr. Megan Slowey and Riverhead Police Department Sergeant Dino Isgro educating students and families on substance use prevention during prom and graduation season