Written By Chris Kuhn
Manager of Programs at The Century Council
Washington, D.C. – Back to School is an exciting time for both students and parents as they prepare for a new school year and new challenges both in and out of the classroom. It also serves as a great time to remind students about the importance of staying safe and making healthy lifestyle choices.
The Century Council’s Ask Listen Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program provides youth, ages 9-14, and their parents with information about the dangers of underage drinking and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.In a recent survey conducted for The Century Council, it was noted that parents are the leading influence in their kid’s decision not to drink. The survey demonstrates the importance of parents and educators starting conversations with youth early and often about the risks and consequences surrounding underage drinking.
The Ask, Listen, Learn program provides materials for parents and instructors on how to start and continue the conversation with young people. The program also offers youth the opportunity to play fun kids’ games, download printable activities, and read about Superstars like Olympian Steven Lopez, Soccer Hall of Famer Julie Foudy, and swimming champion Rebecca Soni.
According to the 2011 Monitoring the Future Study, nearly one third of 8th graders report they have tried alcohol once in their lifetime and 15 percent report they have been drunk. In a separate study, a majority (65 percent) of today’s youth who have consumed alcohol in the past year report family and friends as the leading source from which they get alcohol.
Make no mistake, tweens know what’s going on and they’re more than just a little curious about it. So before they’re presented with the opportunity, it’s critical to give them the information they need to make the right decision. Help support them by teaching them how to say “Yes” to a healthy lifestyle and “No” to underage drinking. Make sure that either as a parent, teacher, or caregiver, you get involved.
You can order free, single copies, of the Ask, Listen, Learn brochures for parents, educators and kids. If you’re interested in distributing the brochures at school or community events, you can also order these free publications in bulk quantities.