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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Students 'CHILL' by taking stand on underage drinking
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Photo by Charles Boothe: Local CHILL (Communities Helping Improve Local Lives) students place stickers on beer containers at Kroger to remind purchasers that its illegal to give alcohol to a minor. Pictured, from left, are Regina Clark, Piedmont Community Services prevention specialist and CHILL coordinator, Max Harper of Ferrum, Allie Shepherd of Westlake and Amanda Eichenlaub of Rocky Mount.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer

Some local students had a busy afternoon at Kroger in Rocky Mount last Thursday.

Three Franklin County High School students placed stickers on beer containers to remind buyers that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol.

The effort was a project of CHILL (Communities Helping Improve Local Lives), a youth task force comprised of high school students from Franklin County. CHILL is modeled after the youth task force created in Martinsville and Henry County in 2002.

Regina Clark, prevention specialist with Piedmont Community Servicers and CHILL coordinator, said students in Martinsville and Henry County were also participating in Kroger stores there.

Placing the stickers on the containers is a coordinated effort with CHILL, Kroger and the state ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control), she said.

Clark said 11 rising 10th-12th-graders were trained this summer for the CHILL program.

On Thursday, three of those students, Allie Shepherd of Westlake, Max Harper of Ferrum and Amanda Eichenlaub of Rocky Mount, were already putting their training, and commitment, to work.

They placed the stickers on dozens of beer containers.

As CHILL members, Clark said they "desire to make positive choices" in their own lives, realizing that "the underage use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs can impair us from reaching our goals in life. In addition, we care about the health and safety of our peers and want to communicate to our community the issues concerning youth."

Clark said the expectations of a CHILL member include:

"Believe in the mission statement and be committed to standing up for it.

"Be a leader and role model for positive choices, including staying drug-free.

"Maintain acceptable school attendance and GPA.

"Demonstrate good character.

"Attend a 3-day training during the summer.

"Attend monthly meetings.

"Perform at least 15 hours of community service for CHILL per year.

"Sign a contract stating they can commit to the above expectations.

The program is implemented through the prevention department at Piedmont Community Services.  

"Our youth have some great qualities and CHILL is about making people aware of the positive choices that youth are making and being a positive influence to others," Clark said. 

Some of the messages CHILL will be promoting at school and in the community, she said, include:

"Most teens are making positive choices.

"Most teens do not use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD).

"Remaining ATOD free has many positive consequences.

"Use of ATOD can have many negative consequences.

"Parents are the greatest influence on whether their child will use ATOD.

CHILL is a partner with the newly formed FRESH (Focus on Response and Education to Stay Healthy) coalition in Franklin County, and student representatives will be participating at monthly meetings to voice the concerns of youth.

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