GREAT FALLS — The month of August is ushering in a new campaign by the Alliance For Youth aimed at getting a simple yet powerful message across from parents to kids.
Many parents might think their kids never listen to them. But they have a greater impact on their children’s lives than they know.
The organization’s new campaign called ‘Children See, Children Do’, has a simple message that hopes to leave a powerful mark.
“We have to be present. We have to be aware. And we have to know that what we do and what we model is important to them,” said Kristy Pontet-Stroop, the director of Alliance For Youth.
From benches to bus ads, social media to radio announcements, the organization is hopeful the campaign makes an impact.
The idea has been in the works for some time. While kids often imitate their peers, Pontet-Stroop says it’s parents and guardians who play the biggest role.
“The research tells us the surveys that they take tell us that we as parents are the number one influencer in their life,” said Pontet-Stroop.
The effort is a collaboration between the Alliance For Youth and its Substance Abuse Prevention Alliance, or SAPA. SAPA is a coalition of several community partners including representation from United Way, Indian Family Health Clinic, the Little Shell Tribe, Alluvion Health, Many Rivers Whole Health, law enforcement, parents and caregivers.
While steering kids clear from drugs and alcohol is an important aspect of the campaign, it’s not the only focus.
“It's also about technology, how we behave in sporting games,” said Pontet-Stroop. “How we behave and interact with others, how we interact when we're driving our vehicle. Are we road raging and are our children are seeing us angry?”
Posters with the message will be displayed at area schools and people are encouraged to help get the message by placing posters among their own pockets of influence. And they can help spread the word on social media using the hashtag #ChildrenSeeChildrenDo.
“Because it's practical. Let's just let's just be mindful of what we're doing and what we're presenting to our youth and to our community,” said Pontet-Stroop.