Families rave about this class!

Scituate FACTS is proud to partner with Scituate Public Schools to offer this award-winning, science-based Substance Use Prevention Workshop for parents and caregivers of children ages 9-15. Guiding Good Choices participants will get the latest data on local youth substance use, learn about the risk factors for addiction and, finally, acquire skills to build protection in their own families. Scituate families rave about this class! Parents and caregivers must attend all four classes the series. Please plan to bring your child or children ages 9-15 to Session Three (only) for refusal skills practice and pizza!

Space is limited to small groups of 20.

Open to Scituate residents and community members only due to space restraints.

$12.00 fee for the Family Guide may be paid at the first class (cash or check made payable to Town of Scituate). Scholarships available by simply emailing:



Now enrolling! School-based Supports for Students Impacted by Substance Use

It is estimated that at least as 1 in 8 children live in a family impacted by substance use disorder. The Scituate Public Schools Counseling Department offers a variety of supports for our students to connect with others in a safe and accessible setting, and to learn healthy coping strategies. Please contact the School Counselors indicated below for more information,  start dates, and permission slips.

School-based Support Group for Families:
“Loved Ones Raising Loved Ones” Some children in Scituate are being raised by grandparents or family members other than their biological Mom and Dad. These adults and children have unique issues that arise. This school-based support group is designed to address the issues that are common for family members raising other family member’s children and for children being raised by loved ones other than their parents – no matter what the reason.  Each month, members meet as a large group for a fun pizza dinner.
Then, the adults and children meet separately with School Counselors (including Paulette Marino, Jen Lopes, Nina Riley, and retired counselor Linda Nathan). Children talk and work in their journals, as well as complete a craft or gym activity designed for the range of ages. This year, the pizza and crafts have been provided from donations by BeWell Studios to the Scituate FACTS Coalition.  The Loved Ones group meets during the school year, usually on the last Monday of the month, from 6:00-7:30pm, at Jenkins Elementary School. Children of all ages from all schools participate, including pre-school aged siblings. The group is also open to family situations that are not substance-related. The first meeting will be Monday, October 29, 2018. Future dates to be announced for November, January, February, March, April and May.

Please email Nina Riley at if you are interested in learning more about Loved Ones Raising Loves Ones, which is open to all SPS families.

School-based Support Groups for Students: 
“Kids of Promise” is a group for students in grades 6 – 12 who have been impacted by a friend or loved one’s substance use.
Scituate Public Schools is pleased to offer Kids of Promise, an in-school support group offered at both Gates and SHS. It is voluntary for students (who are responsible for any missed classwork). During the 8-week course, students will meet with the group once a week. The curriculum focus will be: positive self-esteem building, healthy communication skills, relationship building (parents, siblings, peers, etc.), healthy coping skills and decision making, alcohol and drug use prevention, and helping students identify feelings associated with loved ones who may be suffering from substance use disorder. Gates group will start mid-October. Parent/guardian permission is required to participate.



“Insight” is a group for students in grades 9 – 12 who would benefit from positive decision-making skills. This is a psycho-educational support group for high school students to explore adolescent challenges pertaining to difficult decision-making, self-esteem, stress management, resiliency and goal-setting.  This group will be offered during the school day, once a week for approximately eight weeks.  Students may miss some academic classes in order to participate in this group (times to be determined).  They will be responsible for obtaining and completing any missed school work. This group is a positive addition to a student’s school day, and
past participants have enjoyed the group dynamic. Parent/guardian permission is required to participate.


New! “Project Connect” is a group for students in grades 9 – 12* who use nicotine. This is a psycho-educational support group for high school students that will include open discussion, demonstrations, role-plays, short lecture, audiovisual, and hands-on skill-building activities. Topics include resiliency, social skills, stress management, goal-setting, and decision-making.  Students will develop their own personalized plans for success to slow down or stop their use of vapes or cigarettes. The Project Connect group will be offered during the school day, once a week for 7 weeks.  Students may miss some academic classes in order to participate in this group (times to be determined).  Students will be responsible for obtaining and completing any missed school work. This group is designed to empower adolescents with the tools necessary to make more positive choices. Parent/guardian permission is required to participate. (*Gates is exploring the possiblity of a middle school offering, please contact Ms. Newton or Mr. Beattie for more information.)


For Scituate High School Groups:
Jen Lopes, School Adjustment Counselor:  781 545-8750 x102

For Gates Middle School Groups:
Lindsay Newton, School Adjustment Counselor: 781-545-8760 x21109


Financial support from the Scituate FACTS Coalition and community donations have made these support opportunities possible.
If you have any questions about support for students, please contact the Counseling Department at your school.  All school counselors can provide information on additional, community-based resources, including the Gosnold Family Education & Support Group every Sunday at 11:00am at the Scituate Council on Aging; Sunday night AlaTeen Meeting at Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham; and Independence Academy Recovery High School in Brockton.







Printable reference of the state and local laws regarding youth and substances.



Cannabis policy is ahead of the cannabis science. We need more research to understand the benefits and the harms. Click link for review of all the research (about 50% of all studies suggest some helpful use).



Here’s a printable PDF booklet with tips for families, including social host laws, talking points, and resources!

Thank you to Youth Health Connection for preparing this helpful resource!


Print event flyer: 3.27.18TeenBrain

The Scituate FACTS Coalition is delighted to welcome Dr. Sion Kim Harris for an annual presentation on adolescent brain development and the effect of substance use. Dr. Harris will review the latest science that every parent and student should know about adolescent brain development. Participants will learn how the brain responds to alcohol and marijuana in particular, as well as habits that promote healthy brain function and development.

Dr. Harris is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and faculty in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine and Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is a senior research scientist at the Center for Adolescent Substance Addiction Research ( at Boston Children’s, an internationally-renowned research center which strives to be a leading source of innovative, effective strategies in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance-related problems.

So what’s the big deal about trying substances? “Well thanks to MRIs, we now know that the developing adolescent brain responds to experiences. This can either be bad news or good news,” according to Annmarie Galvin, FACTS Coalition Co-Chair. “One of the biggest risk factors for developing a problem with substances later in life – be it opiates, alcohol, or something else – is the age of first use. Starting early – with anything, even nicotine- increases an individual’s chances of developing a serious problem. Attendees will learn more about this important risk factor by looking at images and reviewing scientific research with Dr. Harris. It’s quite fascinating to learn a new way of looking at addiction from a science perspective. For me, it removes all of the bad choices and morality talk from the addiction conversation. So much of this disease is brain related. Understanding the science of early use is compelling.”

At the March 27 event, local statistics and identified areas of concern will also be presented by Scituate High School students. The coalition remains concerned about high school binge drinking, marijuana use, and the frequency with which our young people ride in a car with someone who had been drinking. Scituate rates are similar to the state and national averages in many categories. However the risky health behavior of heavy episodic drinking – having more than 5 drinks in a row – among local high school students is higher than the state average, and increasing. According to last year’s anonymous survey, 27% Scituate High School students report this risk behavior in the past 30-days, compared to 18% of high school students across the state and the nation (2017, SHS Youth Risk Behavior Survey). In addition to potential long-term impacts, we know that risky decisions may be made anytime someone is under the influence of substances. Our school community would like to take this opportunity before prom and graduation season to empower families with information to celebrate safely.

A special note for Scituate High School Juniors and their Parents and Caregivers:
Please arrive by 6:30pm to hear expectations and logistics for the Junior Prom on May 18. Junior students in attendance will be entered into a free raffle drawing. Students must be present win. Prizes will be raffled off at the end of the program and include prizes such as two prom tickets (raffled separately), hair styling, tux rental, make-up and more. The FACTS Coalition appreciates the generous support of the small business community as we work together to make the prom and graduation season safe and memorable for our young people. Discounted prom tickets ($10 off) will also available for purchase after the program for students who attend the educational forum on March 27th. This ticket discount is made possible by generous donations to our coalition from BeWell Studios Friday night community classes.
All communities are welcome to attend this free program. Content is appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Invite your friends via Facebook

The Scituate Recreation Department is pleased to announce FREE FUN FRIDAYS! In partnership with Scituate Public Schools, the Scituate FACTS Coalition, and Scituate Police, Recreation staff will offer a variety of activities for students in grades 6 – 8 in the Gates Gymnasium and Dining Commons immediately after school. With thanks to Gates PTO and Jack Conway Realtors for their financial support, this program is free to attend.

Based on interest and capacity, we may continue similar programming in the future. Your feedback is welcome at any time, as well as at the next FACTS Open Coalition Meeting where we will discuss the pilot in-depth (Wed 3/21, 6:30-8:00pm at the Scituate Town Library).


How do we sign up?
Registration is not required. This is a drop-in recreation program scheduled for 2/9/18, 2/16/18, 2/23/18, 3/2/18, 3/9/18, 3/16/18 and 3/23/18.  All participants must complete a new waiver prior to attending their first session:
Signed waivers may be returned to their homeroom teacher, dropped in the basket in the Gates Main Office, or brought to program Check-In.

Does my child need to bring a waiver each time?
No. Signed waivers will be kept on file for the duration of the program. Participants will check in with a Recreation staff member each week, in the Dining Commons.

How will dismissal work?
The program ends at 4:00pm, and parent/guardians are not required to sign participants out. Please inform a staff member if your child needs to leave early.

My son or daughter has food allergies. What are you serving?
Light snacks including Skinny Pop popcorn, and Cheese and Gluten-Free Cheese Pizza from Papa Gino’s will be available for free in the Dining Commons. No outside food is allowed.

How will you contact me in the event of an emergency?
A member of the Gates School administration will be onsite for the duration of the program in case access to emergency contact/medical information is needed.

Will FREE FUN FRIDAY take place over February vacation week?Yes. Gates will be open for regular program on February 23, 2018, from 2:00-4:00pm.

What if it snows?
Scituate Recreation programs follow the Scituate Public Schools cancellation policy. If school is cancelled, FREE FUN FRIDAY is cancelled.

May I volunteer?
We appreciate the enthusiastic support from our community! For safety reasons, Scituate Recreation will oversee trained recreation staff and other employees of the Town of Scituate for the current program.

If you would like to contribute toward supplies or program costs for this pilot session, please contact Nick Lombardo at

Print waiver:


Print flyer: FREE FUN FRIDAY