TUCSON, AZ— Attorney General Terry Goddard joined the Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs and The Century Council to bring Ask, Listen and Learn, a program to fight underage drinking to Tucson today. At the event at the Boys & Girls Club of Tucson, Attorney General Terry Goddard was joined by Catherene Morton, Boys & Girls Club of Tucson Alliance Representative and Dana Fudurich of The Century Council.
The event featured an innovative program developed by The Century Council in partnership with Nickelodeon – Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix – which recognizes that the key to stopping underage drinking is communication early and often between parents and children. Ask, Listen, Learn provides both kids and parents with information and strategies to help jumpstart the conversation about the dangers of underage drinking, in a format and language designed specifically for them.
In addition to today’s event, Attorney General Goddard, The Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, and The Century Council partnered to distribute Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix materials to all the Boys & Girls Clubs in Arizona.
“Law enforcement alone cannot solve the problem of underage drinking. Parents must talk with their children about this dangerous behavior,” Goddard said. “Ask, Listen, Learn facilitates these critical family conversations and teaches kids about the serious consequences of underage drinking as well as valuable tips for resisting common forms of peer pressure to drink.”
“While alcohol consumption among our nation’s youth has declined over the past 20 years, underage drinking remains unacceptably high. According to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 10.8 million Americans between the ages of 12-20 report current alcohol consumption. Among youth the rate of current alcohol consumption increases with increasing age, however, the alarming fact is first use of alcohol typically begins around age 12. By 16, 27 percent report current alcohol consumption,” said Dana Fudurich.
“The Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs is committed to fighting underage drinking in Arizona by working with kids and parents alike to teach the damaging effects alcohol can have on a growing body,” said Catherene Morton.
Whether or not they realize it, parents are the leading influence on kids’ decision not to drink alcohol. According to the 2003 Omnibuzz survey conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, 65 percent of adolescents identify parents as the leading influence in their decision not to drink.
The Century Council is grateful to the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Latino Children’s Institute, the National Middle School Association, and U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for providing scientific input for use in creating Ask, Listen, Learn.
Ask, Listen, Learn is unique in that it gives both kids and parents the tools to initiate the conversation about alcohol. The program includes:
- A parents’ booklet, detailing how to begin the conversation, sustain the conversation and make an impact on kids. It presents effective questions, data, conversation starters and answers to typical objections kids raise.
- A kids’ booklet, with interactive games and trivia cards explaining the facts about alcohol, addressing issues to avoid peer pressure, and providing creative ways to say “no.” It also includes an Action Against Alcohol Agreement that both kids and parents can sign.
- Asklistenlearn.com, produced by Nickelodeon, is a Website for kids with information on the dangers of underage drinking including monthly polls, information interactive games and videos, and more information on how to say no.
- Asklistenlearnparents.com, produced by Nickelodeon, is a Website for parents with information on how to have the conversation and links to additional national and local resources related to underage drinking.
Recognizing the important role that teachers, counselors and administrators play as role models and purveyors of information, The Century Council will also begin work on a teacher-focused component to the program for distribution nationwide. In an effort to reach trusted adults and kids in the Hispanic community, The Century Council released Pregunte. Eschuche. Aprenda. ¡Los niños y el alcohol no mezclan! in October 2005.
The Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, a partner in this effort, will utilize Ask Listen Learn as part of their already established SMART® Moves program. Based on research and best practices from prevention specialists, the SMART® Moves program has been successful for more than a decade in Arizona and Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide. SMART® Moves incorporates current research about problems confronting young people and provides viable solutions to help them handle challenging circumstances while avoiding risky and unhealthy behaviors. SMART® Moves encourages collaborations among Club staff, youth, parents and representatives from other community organizations. It has been deemed proven effective for anti-drug, anti-alcohol and anti-gang activity by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Century Council
Launched in 1991, The Century Council is a leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol. Recognizing nearly 20 years of progress, America’s leading distillers have promoted The Century Council’s mission by investing more than $175 million in its programs to fight drunk driving and underage drinking. For more information about Ask, Listen, Learn™ or The Century Council, or to order a copy of the program free-of-charge, please visit www.asklistenlearn.com, www.asklistenlearnparents.com or www.centurycouncil.org.
Nickelodeon is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in 88 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for more than eight consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.
The Century Council