Each April since 1987, Alcohol Awareness Month has been in existence to bring attention to the immediate and long-lasting consequences that alcohol brings to individuals, families, and communities.
According to the Iowa Youth Survey of 2010 26% of 8th graders and 36% of 11th graders have had at least one drink of alcohol in the last 30 days. These are local statistics, not a national average. This is happening in Van Buren County.
Individuals, families, and communities throughout our nation are tired of deaths, violence, and other harmful consequences that underage drinking sets upon today’s youth. The responsibility to take action against underage drinking is not only directed at parents, but also to the whole community. Parents, guardians, and other adults in the community are encouraged to start and continue the conversation about negative effects of alcohol with youth. The constant message adults can give to youth is that any use of alcohol by youth involves risk.
Youth Leadership Council Members are also assisting in these efforts by holding a variety of events to bring awareness to the dangers of underage drinking. Activities include:
Sticker Shock– youth will visit all convenience stores that sell alcohol and place stickers and posters on products reminding patrons it is illegal to provide alcohol to a minor.
Peer Teaching– youth will be visiting the 4th, 5th and 6th grade classrooms and provide them with lessons and information about being alcohol-free.
Reach out Now Teach In– Jon Tharp along with youth YLC members will visit 6th grade classes and provide them with information on risky behaviors and how to make good choices.
Media Releases– Newsletter, Radio, Newspapers, Cups in Fence, School Announcements related to alcohol awareness month.
YLC recruitment– Visiting 6th grade classrooms to recruit YLC members for the 2012-2013 school year.
Middle School Dance– An alcohol-free event for all students in grades 7 & 8.
Protecting our youth has always been everyone’s responsibility; for they are the hope of the future. Underage drinking is not acceptable and it is not safe. It is against the law for an adult to purchase alcohol for a minor and it is against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol.
For more information you can contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412.