Loveland, Ohio – Loveland Educating Against Alcohol and Drugs (LEAAD) will host its first community tailgate on Thursday, February 7, before the Loveland varsity men’s basketball game against the Milford Eagles. The event, open to all community members, is supported by many local churches and businesses and offers free food, raffles, informational booths and prizes to the first 50 students who attend. Spearheading the event is Katie Sedziol, who joined Loveland City Schools District as LEAAD program coordinator earlier in the school year.

“The purpose of this event is to offer a healthy alternative activity to drugs and alcohol, and provide an inviting atmosphere to educate about LEAAD and our vision,” said Sedziol. “We hope the tailgate will serve as an educational experience to show just how important it is to have regular events that youth in our community can attend, and that they can be around others while making healthy, safe and drug-free choices.”

The Search Institute – a nonprofit that bridges research and practice to help young people be and become their best selves – has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development that help young people grow up healthy, caring and responsible. Based upon these principles, LEAAD wants to focus on the importance of the “constructive use of time” component, specifically that young people spend three or more hours per week in sports, clubs or organizations at school and/or in the community. (https://www.search-institute.org/, December 2018). The vision of LEAAD is to provide students with direction, education and awareness of healthy choices in a positive environment, and support children and families in prevention and intervention strategies through community and school activities based on best practices research, data and policy.

“Our LEAAD coalition strongly believes this event will be the perfect opportunity to role model healthy behaviors and reinforce positive community norms,” said Sedziol. “It is our goal to showcase Loveland asa strongleader in healthy choices and lifestyles, especially when it comes to ouryouth. A gathering to celebrate and support our youth before a game is a protective factorthat we hope all in the community want to be a part of!Come on out to support your Tigers, have a good time, and learn more about LEAAD.”


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