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Community programs help students stay on the straight and narrow

LAKE PLACID - Throughout Lake Placid, community members are working to make sure area students keep away from alcohol and other substances, and have fun doing it.

Such programs as Connecting Youth and Community, Safe Homes and the Lake Placid Outing Club are focusing on reducing the exposure of alcohol and drugs to area children and teens.

Tina Clark, a student support counselor at the Lake Placid High School pointed out that due to the high level of tourism in the area, many parents work odd hours which influences the time they may get to spend with their children.

"You don't typically have the same parent/family contact time that other communities might," she explained.

Clark said she envisions the Safe Homes program in particular as a way for parents to know their children are properly supervised.

Safe Homes was first developed in Lake Placid 15 years ago, but after the students in that program graduated, Clark said "it just ran it's course."

In August, the program came back to the area and membership is already at around 50 families.

To be a part of the Safe Homes program, parents sign a contract stating they are a safe home family and receive a sticker to put on the front of their house so other families are aware.

"Basically what it is is we're hoping to have a community in Lake Placid so that parents will know that if their child goes to such and such a house, that they'll be safe there," Clark said.

The program does monitor kids for more than drugs and alcohol however.

"All that includes things like the computer usage," Clark explained. "We're not going to just let them be on the computer Yahooing and Googling and all that. We try to think, what are the things that kids need to be monitored for?"

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