WEDU PBS Sheds Light on Substance Abuse by Florida’s Kids During Annual Town Hall Meeting

TAMPA, FL (April 11, 2014) — WEDU’s annual Florida’s Kids & Alcohol Town Hall Meeting – A Community in Action, taped this year at St. Petersburg College, will air on WEDU PBS this Thursday, April 19 at 9 p.m. Since 2005, WEDU has been working with community coalitions to bring parents, students, service providers, government officials, law enforcement and legislators together to help raise awareness of the dangers of underage alcohol and drug use through informative Town Hall Meetings.

According to “Monitoring the Future Survey,” a national survey, 33% of 8th graders and 70% of 12th graders have tried alcohol. The “National Survey on Drug Use and Health” reported that 25% of youth aged 12-20 years drink alcohol and 16% reported binge drinking.

Moderated by Laura McElroy, public information officer of the Tampa Police Department, and developed in partnership with community experts, the WEDU one-hour local special features an in-depth discussion about underage substance abuse and features a panel of community leaders and local teens. The town hall meeting in its entirety, including additional footage featuring an extensive Q&A, will also be available on with downloadable resource material. A DVD of the program will be made available to libraries and schools throughout West Central Florida.

While it’s the health and welfare of Florida’s youth that serves as a catalyst, each year WEDU PBS serves as the convener of this important and educational program in partnership with coalitions throughout the area including those located in Pinellas; Hillsborough; Manatee; Sarasota; Lee; Collier and Hendry counties.



WEDU PBS is West Central Florida’s primary PBS station and public media company reaching 16 counties through media platforms including on-air programming and online experiences that broaden horizons, transport and transform and open gateways to new ideas and new worlds. Financially supported by the community, the organization offers a wealth of award-winning inspirational, educational and enlightening content over a variety of media platforms including: television programming, station’s website, and various social media platforms, monthly member magazine Premiere, educational outreach activities and a myriad of special events.  WEDU’s focus on the local community has resulted in the station being regarded as a beacon of trust for men, women and children of every walk of life no matter their age, ethnicity or socio-economic status. WEDU is a treasured community resource; a window to the world for the homebound and a vital educational source for the youngest members of society.  WEDU prides itself on its position in the Tampa Bay community as a leader, partner, informed citizen and a member of PBS, the most trusted institution in America (ORC International’s DualFrame CARAVAN, January 2014). For more information, program schedules or to support WEDU PBS, visit, WEDU Public Media on Facebook and Twitter or call 813.254.9338.