Part of the Story

Because awareness is the key to change…

The opioid epidemic in York County is growing. Now it’s time for teens to write their part of this story.

Bringing Change through Literacy

In our new program Part of the Story, teens will have the opportunity to broaden their understanding on one of the most relevant topics to our community. Through reading and discussion, teens will have the chance to view the selected topics from a new perspective, and share their thoughts with others in the community.

This year’s selection: Smack by Melvin Burgess

SmackYour father beats you. Do you stay at home, or run away? You meet someone who offers you drugs to numb the pain. Do you accept, or refuse?

In the book Smack by Melvin Burgess, Tar is faced with these choices. What would you do?

The Program

In October, teens from Guthrie Memorial Library, Kaltreider-Benfer Library, Kreutz Creek Library, and Martin Library met for a special 5-week program about opioid addiction. 

During these weekly sessions, teens had the opportunity to:

  • Read and talk about the book Smack by Melvin Burgess
  • Meet the author
  • Interact with community members who have experienced, in some way, the results of addiction
  • Feel empowered to respond to this crisis through art, the written word, or action

Pillars of Remembrance Memorial 

Pillars of Remembrance honor friends and loved ones lost to or struggling with addiction. 

Throughout October, community members placed mementos of friends and loved ones onto Pillars in participating libraries. When completed, the Pillars were displayed Saturday, November 11th at Martin library during the Teen Town Hall event.

Teen Town Hall

As the 5-week long program came to an end, participating teens were encouraged to join local community members for a Teen Town Hall. In this culminating event, teen participants of Part of the Story 2017- Opioid Addiction and local organizations:

    • Shared their thoughts and expertise on the subject
    • Held open discussions with the audience of community members.
    • Viewed the Pillar of Remembrance, a county-wide memorial for lost loved ones
    • See how participants responded to this epidemic, asked their questions and sought information
    • Met with members of the community and organizations who are working to end the opioid epidemic in our community such as the York Opioid Collaborative, Not One More, and Children’s Home of York

From reading, comes understanding

“I always knew addiction affected a family,” Breanna Whitfield says. “But, really it affects a whole town: friends, friends of a family, businesses, the police.”

When Breanna first found out about her brother’s addiction, she was mad at him. She didn’t understand. Today, he’s rehabbing in a center in Florida.

“He was always such a good little kid, but even if you’re a good kid,” she says, “you can still have problems. All it takes is one time for a so-called ‘friend’ to get you hooked.”

Breanna, a Hanover teen, says she now has a better understanding of her brother’s situation. She was one of 16 students who gathered once a week at local libraries around the county for “Part of the Story 2017 – Opioid Addiction.” Read more…

Join the Teens for Part of the Story in 2018

Follow our blog and Instagram to keep up on the latest Part of the Story news. The 2018 theme and book will be announced in August or early September.