Prevention Education is Health Literacy: How to SHAPE the Conversation

October is Health Literacy Month, and the team at Ask, Listen, Learn is excited to collaborate with SHAPE America to share free resources to aid in starting conversations with your students about the importance of saying “NO” to underage drinking and empowering them in making informed, healthy choices.

Please plan to join the Ask, Listen, Learn team and SHAPE America on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 7 p.m. for a webinar — Prevention Education is Health Literacy — to celebrate Health Literacy Month.Together, with special guests from SHAPE America and Classroom Champions (an organization that partners with Olympic athletes to mentor students to ensure they thrive socially, emotionally, and physically), we will explore how to “SHAPE” the conversation about prevention education.

This will include ways to integrate prevention education into your health classroom, how prevention education intersects with health and wellness, and introduce free resources that are available to you.

Ask, Listen, Learn Supports Health Literacy

Designed alongside a team of educators and organizations specializing in elementary and middle school, the Ask, Listen, Learn underage drinking prevention program consists of 7 animated videos with accompanying lesson plans and activities that are ready for you to use. Each unit teaches students about the brain — or a specific part of the brain — what it does, and how it can be negatively affected when alcohol disrupts its functions.

Additional lessons dive further into the dangers of underage cannabis use, and important social foundations including goal setting, decision making, and refusal strategies, making Ask, Listen, Learn a well-rounded program for almost any health, physical education, or science teacher.

We understand that your time is precious, so we made sure to align the Ask, Listen, Learn program with Common Core State Standards, National Health Education Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards (Life Science) making it easy to integrate into your existing lessons during Health Literacy month or any other time of the school year. Ultimately, ensuring that kids are well-informed with facts will allow them to understand how their choices affect them (and their peers) in both the short- and long-term.

Know the Facts.
Most kids don’t drink. In fact, less than one in five teens report consuming alcohol in the past 30 days. We also know that as conversations increase; underage drinking rates decrease. Nine out of ten kids report they have had a conversation about the dangers of underage drinking with their parent or a caregiver in the past year, and current underage drinking rates have decreased 53 percent over the past two decades (Monitoring the Future, 2022).

We are proud of the role we have played in this progress, but we have not done it alone, and our work is not done yet. Let’s use Health Literacy Month to continue this momentum, together. 

Prevention Education Is Key.

Health literacy empowers kids to understand the facts and use information to make healthy decisions for themselves, and prevention education is an essential part of health literacy. Prevention education, including Ask, Listen, Learn, can be integrated throughout the school year to help kids understand how their choices affect them in both the short- and long-term.

As an extension of Health Literacy Month, we encourage you to join in celebrating Ask, Listen, Learn’s 20 years of prevention education with our #Take20withKids initiative. This can mean taking 20 minutes to discuss the risks associated with underage drinking, 20 seconds to model responsible behaviors or send an encouraging text, or 20 deep breaths to reset after a busy day.

Share with us how YOU #Take20withKids by tagging @Ask_Listen_Learn in your Instagram Story and using the hashtag #Take20withKids.

Ask, Listen, Learn offers free lesson plans and videos for impactful learning during Health Literacy Month and beyond. These resources can help you start conversations about building healthy decision-making skills through conversations and actions to keep students alcohol-free.

Extending prevention education efforts to caregivers increases your impact and aids in starting conversations at home. Using shared language will reinforce the lessons learned in the classroom and Ask, Listen, Learn has resources for caregivers which include:

Finally, we hope you will consider using the Ask, Listen, Learn resources as you engage in other health- and prevention-focused times and for events throughout the year including, but not limited to:

Thank you so much for all that you do to ensure kids make healthy choices and to keep them substance-free. We look forward to sharing more about the program with you during the webinar on October 26.

~ The Ask, Listen, Learn Team

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