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Pahrump area teens invited to ‘Kick It’

Pahrump area middle school and high school students are invited out for an evening of fun and interaction at the upcoming “Let’s Kick It” event, set for tomorrow, Saturday, May 1.

Students in grades six through 12 will be able to take part in games and activities as well as face painting and body art, enjoy some music with a DJ live on site and chow down on some hot and delicious pizza, all at no cost, thanks to the efforts of local health care provider Serenity Mental Health.

The Let’s Kick It event is geared toward engaging with youth and giving them an opportunity to enjoy a good time, yes, but there is much more that Serenity Mental Health owner Gaby Cruz and her team hope to be able to accomplish during the event.

At its core, the event is intended to help Serenity Health in its mission to connect youth with drug abuse prevention and violence prevention classes that can in turn help keep those students from straying down a negative path.

“We got a SAPTA (Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Agency) grant for $20,000 for drug and alcohol prevention,” Cruz told the Pahrump Valley Times regarding the inspiration for the Let’s Kick It event. “The Nevada statistics for drug and alcohol prevention programs for teens is extremely low, we’re like the bottom of the barrel, so we are hoping to have a big event on Saturday. We hired DJ Franzen from 103.9 radio station, he’s going to go live from the party and he’s going to DJ for us. We’ve ordered pizza and snacks and we really hope to be able to bring the teens out so we can meet the teen community.”

Cruz said she and a fellow clinician will have a booth set up at the event where students will be able to register for a substance abuse and violence prevention class, which will be held virtually.

“We’ve purchased little bags and we’ll be putting the student manuals for that class in the bags and handing them out. We are really trying to push this!” Cruz said. “It’s been so hard to reach the population, especially in the school district with the pandemic, it’s been really difficult. But everything is going to be over the online platform Zoom, so there is no reason these kids can’t sign up. I’m hoping we can sign up 100 teens at the event, that’s my goal.”

As for Serenity Health’s overall goal in using the $20,000 in grant funds, the company is aiming to provide “…200 to 250 evidence-based substance abuse prevention education and training classes in both peer-appropriate group and individual settings,” according to a scope of work provided by the health care company.

The effort extends beyond just Nye County, as well, with Lincoln and Esmeralda County youth part of the target audience too.

“Using the Botvin Life-Skills Transitions and Training curriculum, prevention approaches will focus on helping participants gain competency and develop skills to prevent substance use, refrain from violence and avoid other health risk behaviors. Participants will also develop knowledge in drug resistance, social competency, and personal self-management skills. Through these interventions, participants will decrease harmful behaviors and strengthen healthy positive behaviors,” the scope of work outlines.

Parents are also able to register for a separate educational class, with both classes for youth and adults offered in English and Spanish.

The Let’s Kick It event is set for Saturday, May 1 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Serenity Mental Health, 2280 E. Calvada Blvd. in Pahrump. Students are asked to bring their student IDs with them.

For more information call 775-751-5211.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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