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Lyon & Storey Coalition Staff present at conferences across U.S.



Rochester, New York – Christy McGill and Quest Lakes of Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey, and Michele Watkins of Central Lyon Youth Connections, were among the presenters at the Search Institute’s 11th annual national Healthy Communities, Healthy Youth conference in Rochester, New York. Their workshop, one of over 100 offered during the 3-day conference attended by thousands from across the nation, was called “Linking Community Issues with Asset Building Initiatives.”

Christy McGill explained the lengthy process that Healthy Communities went through to identify Lyon County community issues. The process included gathering and analyzing archival data, attending trainings with experts throughout the U.S., creating and gathering community surveys throughout the county, a year of planning with a guiding group from both Healthy Communities and Lyon County Human Services, and creating a detailed presentation that was given throughout the county on the two topics residents kept coming back to: poverty and substance abuse.

Central Lyon Youth Connection’s Michele Watkins then described how CLYC’s work in the schools addresses those concerns with programs such as Project Success, Volunteer Connections, and youth leadership and substance abuse prevention teams such as Stand Tall.

Using a photo slide show of events, Quest Lakes of Healthy Communities described the unique ways the small Lyon County town of Silver City has implemented the Case for Change. The town has created “intentional friendships across class and age lines” through intergenerational cooking classes, a community garden, a volunteer library with free programs, and monthly contributory community dinners. They’ve done this by strengthening two of the existing assets Silver City already had: a love of learning and caring neighbors. Adults have been supported in recognizing local youths’ individual “sparks”, a concept Search Institute’s Peter Benson has described as “the something they bring to the human party that is good and beautiful and important.”

Healthy Communities Coalition staff are frequent presenters at national and regional conferences, workshops, panels and summits where they share the unique and creative strategies Coalition volunteers and partners have used to strengthen the Storey and Lyon regions of Nevada. Coalition staff have recently been among presenters at CSAT (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment) classes at University Nevada Reno; at the January 2012 conference at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas called “Making a Difference in Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion” sponsored by the Nevada State Health Division; at a October 2011 round table presentation at a conference in Albequerque, New Mexico on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Community Foods Projects; at the July 2011 Nevada Youth Action Council Institute; at the National annual Prevention Network Research Conferences in Atlanta, Georgia and in Denver, Colorado (September 2011 and August 2010); at the 2010 annual Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Conference “Advancing Liquor Enforcement for a Better Tomorrow” in Anaheim California, at the Utah Fall Conference on Substance Abuse, and at the 2010 Juvenile Party Dispersal and Special Events Training for Lyon and Storey Law Enforcement, among many others.

For more information about the regional, nonprofit Coalition, Healthy Communities, please see healthycomm.org or call 246-7550.

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