Sometimes a simple conversation between a parent and a teen can make all the difference.  Other times, it is best to be prepared with an arsenal of resources and facts.  On Thursday, January 19, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. a new series that encourages conversation between parents and teens will begin at Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library.  Aptly named “Talk,” this series is a collaboration between the Telluride School District, the parent organization APEX, and the library.  The focus of this series will be issues that teens face on a regular basis.   The good news is that in a town like Telluride, no one is alone.  “Being a teen is a challenging, tender and vulnerable age, and I think it’s important that parents and teens learn about the great services that are available in our area,” explains Lara Young, from the Wilkinson Public Library.

For the second time in a week, the library will be providing an opportunity for stakeholders in a child’s education to learn the tools that will create a vibrant teen community.  Just this past Sunday, an educational group known as Passageworks was invited to present their research at the library and then at the middle school on Monday.  The topic of their presentation was fostering a student’s inner self and how this can aid in a student’s academic success.  Taking a more local approach, the “Talk” series is working with APEX to bring organizations together in a monthly regular forum that will explore relevant topics in a teen’s life.  “APEX stands for Awareness Prevention Education for Excellence,” explains Wendy Carter, Coalition Coordinator of APEX.  “While our primary focus is drug and alcohol use and abuse among teens, there is no denying that this behavior is impacted by the social and emotional issues we intend to address in the ‘Talk’ series.”

January’s topic of discussion will focus on teen anxiety.  From college applications and high-stakes testing to social acceptance, research shows that teens who have a strong support network are more likely to succeed in overcoming anxiety.  “The success of a child is based on three spheres of influence, their success at school, the work they do at home, and their involvement in their community,” says superintendent of Telluride School District Kyle Schumacher.  “When all of these areas are aligned, it creates an environment that is most conducive to a child’s success.”

Parents, teachers, community members, and teens are all encouraged to participate and learn in this new series at Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library on Thursday, January 19, at 5:30 p.m.   Social service providers will be on hand, as well as members from APEX, WPL, and the School District.  The ultimate goal of this series is to strengthen and support an important member of the Telluride community – teenagers. To learn more about “Talk” listen to my conversation with Superintendent, Kyle Schumacher, Lara Young from Wilkinson Public Library, and Wendy Carter from APEX.

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