Plus a new study on teen texting and driving, and the Columbus Commission on Black Girls

Columbus Symphony Cares is a new initiative in which the orchestra aims to strengthen its ties throughout the community via youth programs, schools and social services organizations. Programming is tailored to meet the needs of each partner organization, with options such as performances, interactive musical experiences and more. Eleven partners are involved in the inaugural season. Notably, the program will allow students from Columbus, Whitehall and KIPP Columbus schools to attend the CSO's Young People's Concerts.

A recent study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital showed troubling trends in texting while driving: Nearly 40 percent of teens drivers admitted to texting while driving at least once in the month prior to the study, with older teens even more likely to text and drive. However, the study—published in the Journal of Adolescent Health—did offer tips that could help curb those numbers.

Researchers suggested that parents need to model appropriate use of phones while driving, set clear rules about the use of phones in the car, monitor new drivers and make sure teen drivers are aware of safety features on phones and in cars. While some of these things may seem obvious, they're good reminders for parents who want to make sure their kids are safe and responsible drivers.

Following three public “listening sessions” late this summer, Columbus City Council's Commission on Black Girls is moving forward. The commission was established by Councilwoman Priscilla Tyson to “study and assess the quality of life of black girls in Central Ohio,” according to the city's website. Commission members represent the education, social service, business and clergy sectors.

Upcoming public meetings will begin at 4 p.m. Nov. 15 and Dec. 13 at COSI. For more information, go to columbus.gov/council/tyson/commission-on-black-girls.

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