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PROSPER Teams To Conduct 5K Run/Walk

The PROmoting School – community – university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience (PROSPER) teams in partnership with Lackawanna Heritage Valley are holding the Kristy Ryczak Memorial 5K Run/Fun Walk on Saturday, September 29, at the Olive Street Trailhead on the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, Scranton, starting at 9 a.m.  Proceeds from the event will be used for PROSPER evidence-based drug and alcohol prevention programs in the Carbondale Area and Riverside School Districts.

The cost to participate is $20 before September 13 and $25 after September 13. For children 16 years and under, the fee is $10 before September 13 and $15 after September 13. Awards will be given to the overall male and female winners, as well as the first, second and third place winners for males and females in seven different age categories. All children under 16 will receive a medal.

The event is in memory of Kristy Ryczak, former Carbondale PROSPER team member and PROSPER 5K committee member. Kristy was a great advocate for scientifically proven prevention programs and worked tirelessly to promote and sustain PROSPER programs in the Carbondale and Greater Upper Valley. She was a champion of families and children and devoted herself to helping build strong family relationships and resilient youth.

Pre-registration is available online at https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/Scranton/2018prosper5k. Registration forms can be obtained by calling the Penn State Extension at 570-963-6842.

The PROSPER project is an innovative model for bringing evidence-based prevention programs to communities to strengthen youth, families, and the community. It focuses on strengthening parent-child relations and problem-solving, building youth life skills, and teaching youth to avoid peer pressure or dangerous behaviors.

The Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14 is one PROSPER program being implemented in the Carbondale Area and Riverside School Districts. It is comprised of seven sessions, all designed to reduce adolescent substance abuse and other problematic behaviors. It has been scientifically tested and results have shown that children who have completed the program are less likely to become involved in risky behaviors.

Youth benefit from attending the sessions by learning to: prepare for their teen years; communicate with their parents; deal with stress and peer pressure; and avoid alcohol and drug problems.  Parents and caregivers enhance their parenting skills by: learning to set limits and show love; making house rules; encouraging good behavior; protecting their children from substance abuse; and learning to handle stress.

PROSPER is free and includes dinner for the family, prizes for attendance, and free child care for younger family members. Programs are starting in both school districts in late September.

For more information about the PROSPER 5K or The Strengthening Families Program, contact Penn State Extension in Lackawanna County at 570-963-6842.