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February 14, 2001

First Lady Spreads Powerful Message in E-Valentine's Day Card -- Helps parents send Love and Anti-Drug Messages to their kids

SPRINGFIELD -- First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan is partnering with Kids in a Drug-Free Society in playing Cupid by making an e-Valentine's Day card available to parents and caregivers so they can personalize and send it to the children in their lives.

The "Parent to Child" electronic Valentine's Day card serves as a tool for parents to communicate two messages: Colorful animated hearts proclaim the sender's love and belief in the child, while at the same time sending a clear message that they want the child to stay happy, healthy and drug-free. View and send the card at www.theantidrug.com .

"This Valentine's Day, I encourage all adults to send these cards that reinforce messages of health, safety and happiness for all of Illinois' children," said Mrs. Ryan. "Parents are the strongest influence in a child's life, and I call on all parents to take advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate to children how valued they are, how much they are loved, and the importance of staying drug-free."

Recent studies consistently show that parents and caregivers are the best anti-drug. Kids want to know what their parents' expectations are, especially about substance abuse. And other studies have shown that kids who hear the clear message at home, are half as likely to try drugs as those who don't.

K.I.D.S. is a national non-profit, organization that teaches parents and caregivers how to have consistent communication with their kids about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. K.I.D.S. chief mission is to deliver research-based products to reduce all facets of substance abuse by training parents and caregivers to have consistent communication with their kids during the critical ages of 9-13 (the teen years).

This e-Valentine project is made possible through a cooperative partnership with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the Office of National Drug Control Policies National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. K.I.D.S is funded in part by a major grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The card was created by Convergent Technologies as a public service for K.I.D.S.

For more information, visit the following Web sites: www.futures4kids.org; K.I.D.S. www.keepkidsdrugfree.com; PRSA www.prsa.org; National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign www.mediacampaign.org and www.theantidrug.com; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation www.rwjf.org; Partnership for a Drug-Free America www.drugfreeamerica.org; Convergent Technologies, www.gocvt.com.

Kids In a Drug-Free Society
Fact Sheet

K.I.D.S is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1998 as a coalition between the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), it's Foundation, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, and other private and public sector organizations. K.I.D.S is funded in part by a major grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It is designed to unite and mobilize the public relations industry to use the power and value of public relations to ensure healthier futures for America's children.

K.I.D.S is comprised of two major initiatives. The first is a workplace-based parent communications and training program offered to corporate America as a family-friendly employee benefit. Through this program, working parents learn how to talk with their kids frankly and frequently about the dangers of drugs, tobacco and alcohol as well as techniques for strengthening family bonds and improving communication with their children. The second national K.I.D.S. effort is the Community Awareness Project designed to enlist public relations professionals to launch grassroots public relations campaigns in their communities that will help parents become aware of the impact they can have on their children's decisions about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

In 1998, with bipartisan support of Congress and the President, ONDCP created the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, an effort designed to educate and enable all youth to reject illicit drugs. The Campaign's ads are developed by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. In less than three years, the Campaign's messages have become ubiquitous in the lives of America's youth and their parents. Counting on an unprecedented blend of public and private partnerships, non-profit community service organizations, volunteerism, and youth-to-youth communications, the Campaign is designed to reach Americans of diverse backgrounds wherever they work, learn, live, or play.


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