Be Kind to Your Mind by Learning about Your Brain 

As we prepare for Red Ribbon Week (October 23-31), a week emphasizing efforts to keep kids alcohol- and substance-free, let’s tap into kids’ natural curiosity about their developing brains and show them how alcohol and cannabis negatively affect it. With this year’s theme being “Be Kind to Your Mind,” there is no better way to give kids the tools to say “NO” to harmful and risky behaviors than to have them learn about their developing brains.  

Guide your students as they explore the different parts of the developing brain and alcohol’s effect on it with these easy-to-use classroom resources. 

  1. The Cerebral Cortex– Help students understand the impact alcohol has on their cerebral cortex and have them practice making healthy decisions. 
  1. The Hypothalamus– Have students understand how alcohol impacts the relationship between their brain and hormones while modeling the goal-setting process. 
  1. The Medulla– Teach students how the medulla keeps their body functioning, the potential consequences of alcohol poisoning, and the importance of appropriate resources when making decisions. 
  1. The Central Nervous System – Guide students in learning about how neurotransmitters convey messages to all parts of their body and how alcohol can interrupt those signals. 
  1. The Cerebellum – Explain how the cerebellum controls the student’s motor system and how alcohol affects that control. Then give students a chance to practice their communication skills that can help them make healthy choices. 
  1. The Hippocampus- Help students learn about how the hippocampus controls their ability to create memories and how alcohol can affect that.  

Empowered with these resources, we encourage you to have conversations in your classroom during Red Ribbon Week and throughout the year about the ways in which alcohol affects the developing brain to arm your students with the knowledge needed to say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking and substance use. Thank you for all that you do to keep kids alcohol- and substance-free! 

~ The Ask, Listen, Learn Team