WASHINGTON, DC —Continuing its efforts to fight underage drinking and support of family and healthy living, The Century Council joined with D.C. United as an Official Corporate Partner of their 2008 soccer season. The Century Council, a national not-for-profit funded by distillers dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, will share Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix, a program designed in partnership with Nickelodeon to educate parents and youth about the dangers of underage drinking.
The Century Council recognizes the important role that sports such as soccer play in the development of healthy and active lifestyles. The key to stopping underage drinking is communication early and often between parents and children. Thus, The Century Council and D.C. United will share the Ask, Listen, Learn program with parents and youth during the 2008 season in an effort to stop underage drinking.
“We know that parents are the leading influence in a kid’s decision to drink – or not to drink – alcohol. We also know that involvement in team sports can have a positive effect on a youth’s self-esteem, grades, and reduces the likelihood of risky behaviors such as underage drinking,” said Ralph Blackman, President and CEO, The Century Council. “Thus, it makes sense to bring our program to D.C. United fans – families who care about the importance of healthy lifestyles and the natural connection with sports.”
Alcohol consumption among America’s youth has declined over the past 20 years, yet 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.
Blackman added, “The rate of current alcohol consumption among youth increases with age, yet alarmingly first use of alcohol typically begins around age 12. We must all intervene to stop underage drinking by starting the conversation – early – and often.”
The Century Council’s sponsorship of the 2008 season includes “Ask, Listen, Learn Day” where a select number of game attendees will receive Ask, Listen, Learn branded items, as well as public awareness messages on the D.C. United website and in team programs and guides – in English and Spanish. D.C. United Players will enhance The Century Council’s outreach by appearing at community events.
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 parent’s 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 kid’s booklet, with interactive games, trivia cards with questions and answers explaining the facts about alcohol, addressing issues including how to avoid peer pressure, and creative ways to say no. It also includes an Action Against Alcohol Agreement that both kids and parents can sign.
- Pregunte. Eschuche. Aprenda – produced by Nickelodeon, is a brochure for trusted adults who interact with middle school-aged kids in the Hispanic community.
- 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, as well as more information on how to say no.
- Asklistenlearnparents.com, produced by Nickelodeon, is a website for
parents with additional information on how to have the conversation and
links to additional national and local resources related to underage
About The Century Council
The Century Council’s mission is to promote responsible decision-making regarding drinking or non-drinking of beverage alcohol and to discourage all forms of irresponsible consumption through education, communications, research, law enforcement and other programs. Recognizing nearly twenty years of progress, the distillers that fund The Century Council have invested over $175 million in its programs to fight drunk driving and underage drinking. For more information about The Century Council, please visit www.centurycouncil.org.
About D.C. United
Headquartered in Washington, DC and playing home matches at RFK Stadium, D.C. United is the most successful professional soccer organization in the history of the United States. United is four-time MLS Cup Champions (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004) and winners of the 1996 U.S. Open Cup, the 1998 CONCACAF Champions Cup, the 1998 Interamerican Cup and the 1997, 1999, 2006 and 2007 MLS Supporters Shield. United is one of 14 teams comprising Major League Soccer, joining CD Chivas USA, the Chicago Fire, the Colorado Rapids, the Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, the Houston Dynamo, the Kansas City Wizards, the Los Angeles Galaxy, the New England Revolution, Red Bull New York, Real Salt Lake, the San Jose Earthquakes and Toronto FC. For the latest headlines and official information on the Black-and-Red, log onto www.dcunited.com.
About The Century Council and Soccer
In 2005 The Century Council partnered with the U.S. National Women ’s Soccer Team Players Association to create an innovative and unprecedented program called Girl Talk: Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking. Girl Talk engages teens and teaches them about the perils of underage drinking and promotes healthy lifestyles. Recognizing that female soccer players are role models to many teen girls, The Century Council’s Girl Talk program was the sponsor of the 2007 Induction of the National Soccer Hall of Fame – the year when Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy were inducted. To learn more, please visit www.grltlk.org.
The Century Council