Input Sought On Underage Drinking - Survey Ends August 15th

Wanted: Oak Park & River Forest Parents’ Input on Underage Drinking
With Aug. 15th deadline, Oak Park Township survey will help guide communications campaign to curb underage drinking

In only five minutes, parents and guardians of 8th through12th graders can help Oak Park Township officials working to reduce underage consumption of alcohol in Oak Park and River Forest.

Through Tuesday, August 15th, the Township is collecting responses to an online 13-question survey on individuals’ knowledge and opinions on a range of topics related to underage drinking. The survey results will help guide an upcoming communications campaign and community outreach initiative by the Township.

Terria Diggins, the Prevention Programs Coordinator with Oak Park Township, said parents and guardians “can play a key role in providing input that will be essential in creating effective messages for these campaigns.”


The survey is intended specifically for parents and guardians of children entering the 8th through 12th grades who reside in Oak Park and River Forest.


“We want to know what they know, and what they don’t know,” Diggins said. “Where are we strongest on this issue? What are our points of vulnerability—and are we harboring some myths that we need to dispel?”

The survey is online at

Over the past two years, the results from the Illinois Youth Survey and a community-wide assessment have revealed that 30% of Oak Park and River Forest 8th-12th graders consumed alcohol in the past 30 days, at rates consistently above the state average.

Those findings have sparked the formation of the Oak Park River Forest Workgroup for Positive Youth Development (PYD), which includes parents, educators, law enforcement officials and many youth-serving organizations whose focus is on positive youth development. The multi-sector coalition is working together to offer practical insight and guidance using the Strategic Prevention Framework as its guide. Their input informs the Township’s identification and implementation of prevention strategies that support youth in making choices that lead to healthy, alcohol-free lives.

The Workgroup for Positive Youth Development is being funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

“The data that has been collected over the past few years shows that our youth are drinking more than their peers in other communities. Our hope is to bring awareness to this and help all youth make healthier, more positive choices for themselves,” said Kelly O’Connor, Oak Park Township Prevention Outreach Coordinator.

“We do so many other things to make sure our kids grow up in a healthy environment, and when it comes to alcohol and our teens, we have to keep trying,” O’Connor added. “Taking this survey can help our community identify what our needs are from a parent perspective and help guide that process.”

Answers will be collected anonymously, and the results will be aggregated. The survey can be accessed online at

The Workgroup for Positive Youth Development is seeking community support in other ways, including the formation of one-time focus groups as well as ongoing teams of people from throughout the community who are interested in reducing underage drinking.

For more information, please contact Terria Diggins at or call 708-383-8005, extension 118.

Oak Park Township is online at



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