Prevention Education for Alcohol Responsibility Month
Topics: NAESP Partner
April is Alcohol Responsibility Month, which is the perfect time to empower your school community to talk about saying “NO” to underage drinking. In addition, over the past two years, we have become more aware about the importance of mental health awareness and social and emotional learning (SEL) foundations within the classroom.
In 2003, Responsibility.org, alongside a team of educators and organizations specializing in elementary and middle school students, developed Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix. Ask, Listen, Learn is a completely FREE digital underage drinking prevention program for kids ages 9-13 (grades 4-8) and their parents and educators with the goal to reduce—and ultimately eliminate—underage drinking. The information provided throughout the program guides adults with ways to start communicating with kids about alcohol and the developing brain and how to continue talking to them as part of a lifetime of conversations.
Both science- and evidence-based, Ask, Listen, Learn takes students on a journey that teaches them:
- What the brain does,
- What alcohol does to it, and
- What that does to them.
The curriculum is aligned to Common Core, Next Generation Science, and National Health Education standards and contains eight modules—seven focused on alcohol and the developing brain and one focused on cannabis and the developing brain. All lessons begin with neuroscience-focused animated videos with accompanying evidence-based lesson plans, classroom activities, and resources for both educators and parents.
Academics alone are not enough. Ask, Listen, Learn also focuses on power skills that build the social and emotional wellness of their students as they return to school as the pandemic wanes. These skills include navigating peer pressure, decision making, goal setting, and self-advocacy, and are built into the program, complimenting the science-based curriculum that educates the whole child. Ask, Listen, Learn is the most widely distributed underage drinking program of its kind.
It takes a village to help kids thrive, which is why we value working together with all educators to share tools and resources to start these conversations to ensure that kids are ready to make informed decisions. To access the free Ask, Listen, Learn resources, visit www.asklistenlearn.org.