New York, NY — 27% of Hispanic youth ages 12-20 report drinking alcohol in the past month and 19% of Hispanic youth ages 12 to 20 report binge drinking. Over 1 million Hispanic Moms targeted to receive prevention message in the Hispanic Community. Today, The Century Council in partnership with Nickelodeon and an expert panel of respected Hispanic Organizations unveiled their most recent educational project Pregunte. Escuche. Aprenda. ¡Los niños y el alcohol no mezclan! Based on the extremely successful Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix a creative multimedia program originally launched in August 2004, Pregunte. Escuche. Aprenda. is designed to provide trusted adults who interact with middle school-aged kids with critical information on the negative consequences of underage drinking. This resource also provides simple ideas and strategies to promote effective conversations among kids and adults. The Century Council’s research indicated that compared to other social issues, underage drinking is not a primary concern among Hispanic parents. In spite of that, Hispanic parents also recognized the importance of communicating early and often with children about the dangers of underage drinking. In addition to research, The Century Council convened a panel of Hispanic community leaders and experts to refine the messages and serve as a mechanism for distributing the messages and materials throughout the community. The expert panel includes representatives of Aspira Association, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Hispanic Medical Association, National Community for Latino Leadership, National Latino Children’s Institute, and MANA — A National Latina Organization. Pregunte. Escuche. Aprenda. has been endorsed by the members of both the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Conference. “We recognized from the very beginning that a straight translation of our Ask, Listen, Learn program was not acceptable,” said Susan Molinari, Chairman of the Council. “As has been our practice since the creation of the Council over 15 years ago, we know that in order to have the most impact and to be culturally appropriate, our materials and messages need to be derived from the needs of the end users — in this case, the Hispanic community itself.” Pregunte. Escuche. Aprenda. includes the following elements: • An adult’s booklet, detailing how to begin and sustain the conversation and to have an impact on kids. It presents effective questions, data, conversation starters and answers to typical questions children raise. The booklet will be distributed nationwide through the organizations represented on the expert panel; • Advertising, in national Hispanic publications to promote the availability of the brochures. Full-page ads will run in publications such as: Siempre Mujer, Selecciones, BuenHogar; • Online, the booklet will be available at www.asklistenlearnparents.com. “The first use of alcohol typically begins around age 12, and 54 percent of kids say they have tried alcohol by the time they reached the eighth grade. It is for this reason that Pregunte. Escuche. Aprenda. is important. This resource uses fun and creative, yet educational, tools for adults to engage with kids in effective conversations about the dangers of underage drinking. Kids love to learn about science and their bodies. The Century Council has designed a program that taps into this interest and targets kids before they are in a situation where they are faced with making decisions about alcohol,” said Jeannie Suarez-Reyes, MPH, Chief Operating Officer, National Hispanic Medical Association. “According to the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (SAMHSA), 27% of Hispanic youth ages 12-20 report drinking alcohol in the past month and 19% of Hispanic youth ages 12 to 20 report binge drinking. 16.8% of the U.S. Hispanic population is aged 5 through 13 (6.9 million). Given the number of Hispanic tweens there is a particular urgency to provide parents and caregivers with tools to help insure that they are prepared to make the right decision about alcohol — not to drink — when presented with the opportunity to do so. By making this prevention program available in Spanish, The Century Council and Nickelodeon are working to strengthen the future of our children. Pregunte. Escuche. Aprenda. allows us to reach out to trusted adults and all family members by providing them with tips and tools on interacting with kids on the very important issue of underage drinking. The Council has developed a tool that is not just a translation of an Anglo brochure but was created specifically for the Latino community with sound data and research as its basis,” said Josephine Garza, Interim Executive Director, National Latino Children’s Institute. “Nickelodeon is committed to putting kids first in everything we do, so we’re providing our audience with the resources to engage in open and honest conversation with adults,” said Dan Sullivan, Senior Vice President-Group Publishing, Nickelodeon Magazine Group. “We are excited to make Pregunte. Escuche. Aprenda. available to both adults and kids within the Hispanic community.” Background Ask, Listen, Learn was created after a multi-year effort, in which The Century Council enlisted a team of experts specializing in middle school aged students and alcohol, including the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Additionally, numerous practitioners including American School Counselor Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Middle School Association, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, helped identify and prioritize key messages incorporated into the program. The Century Council Launched in 1991, 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 over thirteen years of progress, America’s leading distillers have promoted The Council’s mission by investing over $150 million in its programs to fight drunk driving and underage drinking. For more information about Pregunte. Escuche. Aprenda or The Century Council, or to order a copy of the program free-of-charge, please visit www.asklistenlearn.com/parents or www.centurycouncil.org. Nickelodeon Nickelodeon, which is celebrating its landmark 25th anniversary this year, 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’s Hispanic Advisory Panel Brenda Alvarez Communications Coordinator LULAC National Jose Cardenas National VP for Young Adults League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Hilda Crespo VP Public Policy and Federal Relations Aspira Association Josephine Garza Executive Director National Latino Children’s Institute Cassandra D. Oshinnaiye Director of National Programs MANA, A National Latina Organization Alfred Ramirez President National Community for Latino Leadership Sandra Trinidad MPH, RH Program Officer National Hispanic Medical Association Launched in 1991, The Century Council is funded by America's leading distillers. The Council's mission is to promote responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol and discourage all forms of irresponsible consumption through education, communications, research, law enforcement and other programs. For more information on the Council, log onto www.centurycouncil.org.
The Century Council
The Century Council