July 2012

GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance is often regarded as one of the highlights of summer in our area as many of us gather together to share in the music, dance, art, and community. And for some, GrassRoots is also regarded as a rite of passage experience for teens as they attend the festival with friends and peers unsupervised by the adults in their lives.


Although Grassroots is an enjoyable and worthwhile experience,  it can pose risks for teens who are curious and eager for new experiences. As parents, it is important to engage your teen in conversation around how they will make safe and healthy choices while at the festival. Communicating with your teen about alcohol and drug use is especially important.


Things to consider:

  • Talk to your teen about alcohol and drug use at the festival including strategies for how they will handle situations where s/he is offered alcohol or other drugs
  • Communicate with other parents
  • Ask questions and set boundaries
  • Communicate with your teen about how you expect them to behave
  • Encourage your teen to consider their future. How will the decisions they make today affect their future?
  • Be available to your teen and let them know you will be there if they run into trouble or find themselves in a situation that makes them feel unsafe
  • Make sure your teen has safe transportation
  • Maintain communication with your teen during the event (cell phones work on the festival grounds). If possible, identify an adult (perhaps another parent) who would be present and available if needed

Help to make GrassRoots and other summer events safe and fun experiences for your teens. Keep the communication lines open!


For more information regarding safety, rules around alcohol and underage drinking and other parent tips visit Community Coalition for Healthy Youth on the web at: http://www.healthyyouth.org/practical_tips.php#events



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Community Coalition for Healthy Youth

320 W. State/MLK Jr. Street

Ithaca NY 14850