Harbor Country Day School Hosts Insightful, Emotional Public Forum Addressing Addictions & Addictive Behaviors


Topics of discussion ranged from the widespread use and abuse of alcohol and narcotics among Long Island youth, to the effects of technology on children’s developing brains and on family dynamics.

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Dr Noam Fast speaking to crowd.

Photo by: Harbor Country Day School

St. James, NY - April 16, 2018 - On Tuesday, April 10, Harbor Country Day School hosted an in-depth -- and at times emotional -- public forum and panel discussion addressing addictions and addictive behaviors. 
The expert panelists assembled at the St. James independent school included Kym Laube, Executive Director of Human Understanding and Growth Services, Inc. (HUGS); Linda Ventura, Founder of Thomas’ Hope Foundation; Noam Fast, M.D., Medical Director of the Mather Hospital Chemical Dependency Clinic; Jason Bleecher, Licensed Master Social Worker & Substance Abuse Therapist; and Carissa Millet, Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

John Cissel moderates discussion. Photo Credit: Harbor Country Day School
Topics of discussion ranged from the widespread use and abuse of alcohol and narcotics among Long Island youth, to the effects of technology on children’s developing brains and on family dynamics. Attendees included parents and other caregivers, adolescents, educators, physicians, and administrators from communities across Suffolk County.
“We were honored to have such a superbly qualified panel of experts here to help us address the myriad struggles with addiction that far too many of our children, families, and communities are facing,” said Head of School John Cissel. 

Kym Laube speaks to crowd. Photo Credit: Harbor Country Day School
This event marks the third such community event Harbor Country Day School has sponsored in the past two years. Previously, the school hosted NPR Education Correspondent Eric Westervelt in a community discussion about the state of education today, as well as a public screening of the acclaimed documentary, Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age. 
Mr. Cissel continued: “Since Harbor Country Day School was founded 60 years ago, the school has always strived to play an active role in our surrounding communities. As a school that has educated several generations of Long Islanders, and worked with so many community organizations through the years, we’re in a unique position to bring together community members and thought-leaders to engage in open and honest dialogues about the issues, challenges, struggles -- and successes -- that Long Island’s families are facing. We look forward to hosting many more of these events in the future.”

Linda Ventura shares her experiences. Photo Credit: Harbor Country Day School
About Harbor Country Day School
Founded in 1958 by conscientious parents, Harbor Country Day School is an independent, co-educational day school for children from preschool through 8th grade situated in St. James’ Village of Head of the Harbor. The school employs a whole-child approach to education, wherein its rigorous curriculum is supported by a broad program in its academic, athletic, advisory, and visual and performing arts departments designed to develop all aspects of each child's talents and interests. Harbor Country Day School’s summer camp program, Camp Harbor, is among the leading summer camp programs on Long Island. The school’s mission to “cherish childhood, cultivate wonder, and inspire confident learners and leaders” underscores every child’s experience at Harbor Country Day School and ensures that all of its graduates are prepared to lead fulfilling lives filled with wonder, confidence, and many successes. 
Harbor Country Day School is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents and isaccredited by and a member of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). It is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization under section 501(c) (3) of the IRS Code governed by a self-perpetuating board of trustees. For more information, visit www.hcdsny.org.