Needham, MA — Today Aly Raisman encouraged 840 students at her alma mater, Pollard Middle School to “say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking” as ambassador for The Century Council’s Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program. Though Raisman is best known for her leadership and success as captain of the US Gymnastics Team, her role model status will continue to grow as she competes on Season 16 of Dancing with the Stars.
Aly tried yet another athletic challenge today by testing her fast feet against middle schoolers on Ask, Listen, Learn’s interactive game. The game enables middle school kids to learn about the negative consequences of underage drinking and the benefits of making healthy decisions while they exercise. The premise 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 multimedia program includes the game and print materials, with the website presenting a pledge to live a healthy lifestyle, online games and pages featuring Ask, Listen, Learn Superstars.
This event comes about a month after the premier of Ask, Listen, Learn’s PSA with Aly and her parents, Lynn and Rick Raisman. The spot highlights the fact that parents are the leading influence on kids’ decision to not drink underage and encourages families to go to AskListenLearn.com for strategies to help jumpstart the conversation about the dangers of underage drinking.
“I’m so excited to be back at Pollard to share Ask, Listen, Learn with my sister’s class and kids in my hometown,” said Raisman, “When I was in middle school I had to make healthy decisions to stay on track and reach my goals. I hope I can be a good role model for these students as I share my stories about all the hard work and dedication it took to become USA Gymnastics Team Captain.”
Pollard Principal Dr. Lisa Chen was happy to welcome Aly back to Pollard, "It’s wonderful to work in a community like Needham that advocates for our youth to be raised with healthy minds and bodies. We’re grateful Aly and Ask, Listen, Learn can present this important discussion on underage drinking in a fun and engaging way at our school today.”
“While the availability of alcohol to underage youth has declined for more than a decade, 30% of adolescents say they have tried alcohol by the time they’re 8th-graders,” said Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of The Century Council. “It’s important for parents to start the conversation about underage drinking early and to have it often – which is exactly what we are trying to accomplish with our program here today.”
About Ask, Listen, Learn
Ask, Listen, Learn is the most widely distributed alcohol education program of its kind. Ask, Listen, Learn’s initiatives include Asklistenlearn.com, a website that encourages kids to “say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking” by offering kids interactive and educational games and videos. On the site kids can read about positive role models and take a pledge to make healthy choices. Parents and educators are also encouraged to visit the site to find tips on how to facilitate these conversations with kids.
About The Century Council
The Century Council, is a national not-for-profit leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam, Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; and Pernod Ricard USA. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, The Century Council promotes responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol and develops and implements innovative programs and public awareness campaigns which ignite action through strategic partnerships. Established in 1991, The Century Council’s initiatives are highlighted on its website at www.centurycouncil.org and www.asklistenlearn.org.