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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 07, 2005
AGO MEDIA ADVISORY: Attorney General Rob McKenna Launches Program to Curb Underage Drinking


OLYMPIA—Attorney General Rob McKenna is joining forces with Nickelodeon and The Century Council to help parents and their children start the conversation about the dangers of underage drinking.

McKenna will present the program, “Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids And Alcohol Don’t Mix,” at two middle schools in the Puget Sound Area on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The program is also offered in Spanish, ”Pregunte. Eschuche. Aprenda. ¡Los Niños Y El Alcohol No Mezclan!”

WHO:

  • Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna
  • Ralph Blackman, President & CEO, The Century Council

WHEN & WHERE:
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2005 

  • 10 a.m. at Enumclaw Middle School, 550 Semanski St. South in Enumclaw
  • 1 p.m. at Tillicum Middle School, 16020 SE 16th St. in Bellevue

WHY:

  • A recent government study found 54 percent of adolescents say they have tried alcohol by the time they reached the eighth grade. (Federal Government Study: “Talking to Your Child About Alcohol”)
  • Nearly 38 percent of 13- to 15-year-olds drank on average five times over the past year. (TCC Research: Parents, Kids and Alcohol)
  • First consumption of alcohol typically begins around age 12. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
  • Only 4 percent of teens reported that it is “difficult” for someone their age to get alcohol. (TCC Research: Parents, Kids and Alcohol)

WHAT:

“ Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix” is a multimedia program, developed through a partnership between The Century Council and Nickelodeon to help parents talk to their children about the dangers of underage drinking before their children are confronted with the opportunity to drink alcohol.

Developed by an expert panel of Hispanic organizations and designed for the Hispanic community, Pregunte. Eschuche. Aprenda. ¡Los niños y el alcohol no mezclan! is the most recent addition to the program and is designed to provide trusted adults who interact with middle school-aged kids with critical information on the negative consequences of underage drinking.

The interactive program helps parents have effective conversations about alcohol with their kids, using a number of accessible resources including a public service announcement featuring Attorney General McKenna which will be distributed statewide.

McKenna is also making the program booklets available to every middle school principal in the state of Washington.

Ask, Listen, Learn includes:

  • A parent’s booklet, detailing how to begin and 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 tests about alcohol’s impact on the body, trading cards (more than 7 million trading cards are expected to circulate), how to avoid peer pressure, creative ways to say no, and interactive games with parents.
  • A booklet in Spanish, designed for trusted adults to encourage an ongoing dialogue about the dangers of underage drinking including statistics on alcohol consumption in the Hispanic population, “Ayudeles A Decir,” “Eres Lo Que Tomas,” and “Acuerdo Para Hablar Sin Rodeos Sobre El Alcohol.”
  • Websites produced by Nickelodeon, www.asklistenlearn.com and www.asklistenlearnparents.com, where kids can go to get more information on avoiding peer pressure.
  • Television advertising, produced by Nickelodeon, to encourage discussions between parents and kids about the dangers of underage drinking.

The Century Council, launched in 1991, is a national not-for-profit organization funded by America's leading distillers: Bacardi USA., Inc., Brown-Forman, Constellation Brands, Cruzan, Ltd., DIAGEO, Future Brands LLC, Hood River Distillers, Inc., Pernod Ricard USA and Sydney Frank Importing Co., Inc.

The Council's mission is to promote responsible decision-making regarding drinking or non-drinking of beverage alcohol and discourages 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.

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Contact:

Janelle Guthrie, AG Media Relations Director, (360) 586-0725, janelleg@atg.wa.gov
Leslie Kimball, The Century Council, (202) 425-5243, kimballL@centurycouncil.org

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