More than ever, this April feels like a fresh start. This time last year the world had shut down. Schools were closed, teachers prepared to shift to virtual instruction, and parents scrambled to reimagine spaces in their homes for learning. Alcohol Responsibility Month fell by the wayside as we shifted into survival mode to keep our loved ones safe!
That feeling is all too familiar to me as a middle school teacher, parent of teens, and a Responsibility.org Education Advisory Board Member. But this year feels different in the best way!
New spring blooms, access to COVID vaccines, and the re-opening of some schools for the first time in over a year give us renewed hope. But hope and excitement can also be accompanied by anxiety.
There’s no doubt this last year has been a rollercoaster. As educators, we closed our classroom doors, moved to full time online instruction, and now have shifted to simultaneous teaching or hybrid models. We’ve pursued professional development, learning all about digital tools and best practices for virtual instruction in our online classrooms. Each and every one of us has done all we can to ensure we’re doing our jobs to the best of our ability, but it’s been a lot.
As we enter the final quarter of a tumultuous year, Ask, Listen, Learn knows conversations about alcohol and prevention-based education haven’t been top of mind, but we want to let you know we’re here to support you during Alcohol Responsibility Month this April.
We know teachers don’t need one more thing to do which is why we designed our free science- and evidenced-based curriculum to make instruction easy. Ask, Listen, Learn’s ready-to-use lesson plans and materials can work in any environment to teach kids about what the brain does, what alcohol does to it, and what that does to them.
The series of eight videos allows you to continue guiding your students’ academic or social growth whether you’re in-person, virtual, or in a hybrid model of instruction. Free lessons make starting the discussion around saying “NO” to underage drinking while downloadable materials make it easy to reinforce messages about healthy behaviors.
You can play videos over Zoom or Google Meet, embed them into Nearpod lessons, or post them on Canvas for students to watch on their own. Materials can be downloaded and printed or handed out digitally. Students can complete them independently or you can use the annotate feature virtually during a whole class lesson.
Not only are Ask, Listen, Learn’s materials flexible for any type of instruction, but everything is right there for you, ready to use. And there’s no better time to access our materials to start these conversations than now since April is Alcohol Responsibility Month.
Just like our materials about how alcohol affects developing brains and bodies, our cannabis content continues to lay the foundation of healthy living and good decision making. We want our students to be healthy and have the skills to make good decisions to be substance free as they get older.
As educators, we’re a big part of why students are saying “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking, but our work isn’t done yet. We need to continue teaching kids about the effects of alcohol and cannabis on the developing brain to ensure they have the knowledge to make the best choices at all times.
We at Ask, Listen, Learn appreciate all you do especially as you ensure conversations about healthy behaviors continue during Alcohol Responsibility Month and throughout the year.
Leticia Barr is a middle school teacher, a parent, the founder of Tech Savvy Mama, and a member of Responsibility.org‘s Education Advisory Board.