Take The Pledge


3 Reasons To Take Part In Red Ribbon Week

School hallways across the U.S. will be adorned with Red Ribbons throughout the week, starting on Monday, October 23. That's because they are participating in the Red Ribbon Campaign, organized by the National Family Partnership, the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation. It's a week set aside for everyone in the community to come together toward a common goal:  create a drug-free America. The red ribbon symbolizesintolerance towards the use of drugs. 

Sag Harbor schools and those in many of the surrounding communities will work with students--and their families--to provide workshops and training in making healthy lifestyle choices. 

So why should you be a part of Red Ribbon Week?

1. Note the name of the sponsor: the National Family Partnership. Family. Partnership. Working together is key. 

2. The Red Ribbon Campaign is designed to get people talking, and that includes parents talking to their kids about the risks of drug use. If not now, when?

3. A main point of the campaign is mass participation. The more people who hear the message, the easier it is to promote positive change. 

What are you waiting for? Take the pledge

It's A Red Ribbon Week!


SAFE in Sag Harbor and the Sag Harbor School District invite the community to take a visible stand against drugs by celebrating Red Ribbon Week from October 23-31, 2017. 

Red Ribbon Week raises awareness of drug use and the problems related to drugs facing our community, and encourages parents, educators, business owners, and other community organizations to promote drug-free lifestyles.

Pierson Middle/High School has many wellness related activities and events planned for the week including two motivational speakers. On October 25, Dan Occhiogrosso will speak to students in seventh and eight grade about making the hard choices, and living for something bigger than yourself.  On October 26, Matt Bellace, comedian and psychologist, will speak to parents and the community about natural highs and making a difference with your peers. He will also talk with middle school students the next day. The Middle School will cap the week off with a dodgeball tournament. 

“Red Ribbon Week encourages our entire community to adopt healthy, drug-free lifestyles,” said Danielle Laibowitz, project coordinater for SAFE in Sag Harbor. “The campaign brings together parents, schools, and businesses as we look for innovative ways to keep kids and communities drug free.”

SAFE continues to work with community leaders to engage our community to reduce alcohol and other drug use by our youth and to encourage healthy alternative choices. We are always looking for community members to join us. If you want more information or want to get involved, please contact Danielle Laibowitz, Project Coordinator for SAFE in Sag Harbor at coordinator@safeinsagharbor.org

Back To School: How To Help Your Teen Manage Stress


For parents, back-to-school time is something of a relief, but for kids it’s often the return of stress and anxiety that was held at bay during the fun of summer. It’s normal for teens to experience a certain level of stress when returning to school‑adolescence is in and of itself a stressful time‑but as the pressure from parents, peers and themselves builds it can sometimes become unhealthy. 

The key here is to understand the difference between normal stress and when it becomes an issue of concern. 

According to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (https://drugfree.org/parent-blog/school-stress-healthy-stress-vs-red-flag-stress), while stress can be helpful and push a teen to perform better, it is “critical, though, that teens undergoing stress have the ability to function well at school and home.” 

Red flags to look for, according to drugfree.org, are:

  1. Changes in eating habits
  2. Difficulty falling sleep or staying asleep
  3. Significant mood changes, including depression, anxiety, panic or anger. 
  4. Demonstrating violent behaviors
  5. Using alcohol, marijuana or prescription drugs to deal with stress. 

Parents can help their teens manage stress. The key is being available to provide support when needed. When stress becomes too much for your teen to manage, seek mental health counseling or other support services. 

Kym Laube is the program director of SAFE in Sag Harbor, a community-based organization dedicated to creating a substance-abuse-free environment in Sag Harbor, safeinsagharbor.org

Parents: Four Ways To Build Your Child's Self-Esteem

Good choices flow from healthy self-esteem. Children who feel good about themselves know they are valued, feel confident, and feel ready to take on everyday challenges. One of those challenges could be making the right choice between engaging in a risky behavior or not.

Conversely, a child with low self-esteem lacks confidence, feel insecure and, as a result, be easily influenced by peers to use a “quick fix” purported to make them feel better about themselves.

SAFE in Sag Harbor is there to help our children make the right choices and avoid influences that may put them at risk. Part of that is building healthy self-esteem. As I travel locally and across the nation giving presentations on making good choices, the biggest challenge young people express is the struggle to feel confident and strong. They feel constant pressure from so many sources.

A 2006 study titled “Low Self-Esteem During Adolescence Predicts Poor Health, Criminal Behavior, and Limited Economic Prospects During Adulthood,” noted that it has been “theorized that children and adolescents with low self-esteem seek out various forms of antisocial behavior as a way of enhancing their self worth.” Moreover, the study noted that “low self-esteem children and adolescents may also receive less attention and support from parents, teachers and peers. For example, a low self-esteem child may appear quiet and withdrawn and may not be willing or able to ask a teacher for help with needed.”

So where does positive self-esteem come from? It comes from positive experiences that help a child feel capable, effective and accepted (http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/self-esteem.html#). It is not the result of praise for every action but rather learning from mistakes and understanding that hard work and practice pay off.

Four ways you can help your child develop positive self-esteem are:

1.    When teaching how to do things, show and help your child at first, but then allow mistakes. Don’t make new challenges too easy (or difficult).

2.   Use praise but avoid too much. Praise effort rather than the result.

3.   Avoid harsh criticism and focus on strengths.

4.   Be a good role model. Yes, it always comes back to this.

Kym Laube is the program director of SAFE in Sag Harbor, a community-based organization dedicated to creating a substance-abuse-free environment in Sag Harbor, safeinsagharbor.org


Parents: Three Clues Your Child Is Using Drugs

Trust is key in parenting. Every parent wants to believe that when asked a direct question, the answer they get is the truth. Unfortunately, that’s not always so, especially when a child heads down the road of risky behavior. 

As part of its mission, SAFE in Sag Harbor is there to help parents navigate these troubled waters and increase awareness of the issue within the community.

Determining whether your child is using drugs can be challenging. In its article “Look for Warning Signs,” the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids notes “many of the signs and symptoms are, at times, typical teen or young adult behavior. Many are also symptoms of mental health issues, including depression or anxiety disorders.”


Familiarizing yourself with some of the commons signs of drug use is a good start. Whether those signs lead to other issues that need to be addressed or offer evidence (or not) of drug use, it’s important that parents “trust their gut.”


In our experience, among the top three warning signs of drug use are:

1.     Withdrawal from activities or people

2.     Money missing from your wallet

3.     Mood swings

If your child shows any of these signs, it’s time for a conversation. Be prepared for it before the conversation starts. For more warning signs, read here:


Kym Laube is the program director of SAFE in Sag Harbor, a community-based organization dedicated to creating a substance-abuse-free environment in Sag Harbor, safeinsagharbor.org

Parents: Three Ways To Raise A Drug-Free Child

Welcome to our very first monthly blog ... 

Sag Harbor teens out party the nation’s teens when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Parents can, and should, be part of the solution to this pressing problem in our community.

SAFE in Sag Harbor was established to combat the increasing incidence of risky behavior among Sag Harbor teenagers, and increase awareness of the issue within the larger community.

In its “Preventing Drug Use Among Children and Adolescents, A Research-Based Guide for Parents, Educators and Community Leaders,” The National Institute on Drug Abuse” notes that an imbalance between risk and protective factors in the home can influence whether a child is susceptible to drug abuse. Risk factors within the home include a chaotic home environment, lack of a significant relationship with a caring adult, and a caregiver who abuses substances, suffers from mental illness or engages in criminal behavior. Factors outside of the home, such as availability of alcohol and drugs, and social acceptability of risky behavior also impact a child’s susceptibility to using illegal substances. Protective factors include a strong family bond, parent involvement, and clear limits and consistent enforcement of discipline.


Similarly, the National Crime Prevention Council, in “How Parents Can Prevent Drug Abuse” lists six tips for parents, all of which involve parental involvement, clear communication, consistent rules, positive role modeling, and talking about the issue.


Strong parenting is key in helping our kids avoid drug and alcohol use. Here are three steps toward helping your child to say no to drugs:

·      Talk to Your Child. Drugs is not a topic to avoid. Any discomfort will soon be replaced with relief that you’ve opened the conversation.

·     Get Involved. Spend time with your child every day doing what he/she wants to do, not what you want

·     Live the Life You Want Your Child to Live. Set a good example and, with luck, your child will follow it.

Parenting is hard. Being a parent to a child on drugs is harder. Talk to your child today.

Kym Laube is the program director of SAFE in Sag Harbor, a community-based organization dedicated to creating a substance-abuse-free environment in Sag Harbor, safeinsagharbor.org

Monthly Meeting Dates

Plan ahead to attend the monthly SAFE in Sag Harbor meetings. Mark your calendar today!

March 29

*April 19

May 17

June 21

July 19

August 16

September 20

October 25

November 22

December 20                                                                                                                                                    

All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. in the Pierson Library, except where noted (*room 1170). 

Meetings are open to the public.

First Whalers Family Feud Is A Success!

Check out the great fun had at the very first Whalers Family Feud at Bay Street Theater on Monday, January 31. Parents, community members, public officials, and students took on the challenge, testing their knowledge of markers for risky behavior and insider Sag Harbor trivia.