TAMFORD, CT—Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) and the most decorated US Winter Olympian, Apolo Anton Ohno, joined The Century Council to bring Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix to students at Cloonan Middle School today. The Century Council created an interactive game that builds on the existing Ask, Listen, Learn program and encourages kids to “say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking.” The initiative is based on research by Harvard Medical School’s Dr. John Ratey, showing that for a person’s brain to function at its peak; the body needs to move. The interactive activity, as well as a supporting website, encourages kids to live a healthy lifestyle. The website also provides parents with information and strategies to help jumpstart the conversation about the dangers of underage drinking.
“It’s important that kids understand that the choices they make today—good or bad—will have a lasting impact on their lives,” said Congressman Himes. “I’m proud to participate in the creative work the Ask, Listen, Learn team is doing to engage children in the sometimes challenging discussion about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and the hazards of underage drinking.”
Brandy Nannini of The Century Council added, “According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 17% of 12 to 14 year olds report they have consumed alcohol in the past month. Our Ask, Listen, Learn program has the potential to further reduce these numbers, as 80% of 12-14 year olds believe alcohol education has made a difference in the decision they have made regarding alcohol.”
“The decisions I made as a young teen heavily influenced where I am today. In fact, many of the decisions I’ve made off-the-ice have contributed the most to my success,” said Apolo Anton Ohno, winner of eight-record breaking Olympic medals in short-track speed skating. “I truly believe that healthy habits and positive choices start at childhood which is why I’m proud to work with The Century Council to spread healthy messages, including “say no” to underage drinking, to kids across the country.”
Guy Smith, Executive Vice President, Diageo North America who attended the presentation at the school with Apolo Ohno said, “Diageo employees are mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers too, and we never want kids to consume our products. We know that educating them about the dangers of underage drinking can help and that is why Diageo is proud to support Apolo Ohno in his work with The Century Council and the Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix initiative”.
Developed over six years ago, Ask, Listen, Learn has already reached millions of parents, kids, and teachers around the country. Ask, Listen, Learn’s new initiatives include:
- Asklistenlearn.com encourages kids to “say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking” by offering kids interactive and educational games and videos.
- Any kid can become a member of the Ask, Listen, Learn Team by taking a pledge to make healthy choices.
- Ask, Listen, Learn utilizes role models such as Speed Skater Apolo Anton Ohno and professional track stars Tyson Gay and Lolo Jones as “SuperStars.” Ask, Listen, Learn Team members will be encouraged to read Questions and Answers from SuperStars to learn how elite athletes dealt with peer pressure as they were growing up. SuperStars will encourage kids to make responsible decisions and live a healthy lifestyle.
- Ask, Listen, Learn will have a supplement in Scholastic where teachers may find information about the program and how to incorporate it into their lesson plans, kids can tear out posters, and can play educational games to learn about living a healthy lifestyle and saying no to underage drinking.
The Century Council
The Century Council, which has been at the front of the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking since its inception 20 years ago, is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; Pernod Ricard USA; and Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia and chaired by The Hon. Susan Molinari, The Century Council is a leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol. The Century Council develops and implements innovative programs and public awareness campaigns and promotes action through strategic partnerships. Established in 1991, The Century Council’s initiatives are highlighted on its website at www.centurycouncil.org.
Darron Moffatt, The Century Council
MoffattD@centurycouncil.org or (202) 637-0077