Parents and guardians of area students have the chance to get a window into their children’s lives thanks to a project created by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
The project called “The Top Secret Project” is a traveling exhibit designed to help parents and professionals who work with youth recognize potential warning signs for problematic behaviors. It will be making its way to Belle Plaine’s Performing Arts Center (PAC) within the district office at 130 S. Willow St., on Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
The exhibit takes participants through a teen’s makeshift bedroom where they can explore what appears to be a typical teen’s room. Hidden in plain sight throughout the exhibit are more than 150 items that can be treated as signals that a young person may be involved in risky, harmful or even illegal behaviors, according to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
“Often times, signs of danger are in plain sight, but if we don’t know what to look for, we can’t help our kids safely navigate the teen years,” said Cendee Palmer, Outreach Manager for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation per a release. “Parents will be enlightened by what they learn through this presentation and will also walk away with important resources to help them not only learn about various issues but what they can do to prevent and take action.”
Following the initial walkthrough, guests will be given a 90-minute presentation providing insights into some of the items in the room and identifying how each can potentially be a warning sign about alcohol or drug use, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, bullying, criminal or gang activity, and other mental health concerns.
The event is for adults only. There is no charge for admittance, and childcare will be provided.
Information about the presentation and the project can be found at TopSecretProject.org.