Congressman Himes and Paralympian Tyler Carter in CT!

May 10th, 2016

Yesterday we caught up with Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) and Paralympic Alpine-Skier Tyler Carter at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk, CT for an Ask, Listen, Learn event!

West Rocks Middle heard from Congressman Himes and Carter about the importance of combating peer pressure and saying NO to underage drinking.

Carter spoke first, captivating an audience of over 250 sixth graders, by starting off with why he lost part of his leg at a young age. Carter, a paralympian in the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games was born without a fibula and had his right leg amputated below the knee when he was a year old. Carter is also an Athlete Mentor for Classroom Champions! Want to see more of Tyler’s videos for kids? Check them out here.


Introduced to skiing at 8 years-old, Carter immediately fell in love with the sport and staying active.

“As an athlete it’s so important to pay attention to what I put in my body,” Carter said. “I’m already missing one leg, I don’t need to lose anything else.”

Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) spoke to his experience as an EMT, and how that showed him early on how poor decisions can impact your entire life, or even end it.

“There were some really horrific accidents I had to go to, and I’ll never forget the smell of alcohol that was at every single one,” Himes said. “I’ve seen the horrible bloody consequences of drinking and driving, and it’s really important that you don’t ever do that.”


Congressman Himes and Carter both honed in on how important it is to have healthy habits early on. If you start a healthy lifestyle at a young age, you’ll be able to accomplish so much more when you’re older.

Thanks to Congressman Himes and Tyler for giving their inspiring stories!



Our event at Villa Maria School in Stamford, CT with Representative Jim Himes!

April 24th, 2014

On Tuesday, April 22, FAAR spent the day in Stamford CT with one of our favorite Ask, Listen, Learn partners Congressman Jim Himes! April is Alcohol Awareness Month and we had a blast doing back to back Ask, Listen, Learn events this week, first at Arlington Science Focus School and then yesterday at Villa Maria School in CT! Rep. Himes spent the morning at Villa Maria talking to a group of students about the dangers of underage drinking and the importance of keeping an open dialogue with parents and mentors. The Congressman also discussed his own memories of middle school, recalling how confusing a time it can be. Having role models and mentors to talk to about peer pressure along with learning about the very serious dangers associated with underage drinking is so important for students at this time in their life.

Congressman Himes even spoke to the kids about his experience working as an EMT and how it has served as a constant reminder of the importance of alcohol awareness.  Seeing first-hand the life threatening and even fatal consequences of drinking and driving is part of the reason Rep. Himes continues to partner with FAAR each year to spread the Ask, Listen, Learn message to as many students as possible.

The Villa Maria students not only learned how to say “YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking” but also had the opportunity to learn more about Rep. Himes’ job as a U.S. Representative and even had the chance to share some ideas for Congressman Himes to bring to Washington!

Before wrapping up the event with some running on the Ask, Listen, Learn game, the students at Villa Maria and Principal Sister Carol Ann had a little surprise for Congressman Himes!  Principal Sister Carol Ann presented Rep. Himes with his very first “unbirthday” gift, an idea Villa Maria School got from Alice and Wonderland! So even though his birthday isn’t for a few months, Villa Maria presented him with a piece of original artwork as a thank you for spending the morning with them!


So a big THANK YOU to Villa Maria school, Sister Carol Ann, and of course Congressman Jim Himes for such a fun Ask, Listen, Learn event and for joining the conversation about #Responsibility during Alcohol Awareness Month!


Tim Hollister: 5 Pointers for Parents of Teen Drivers

October 23rd, 2013

The following guest post was written by Tim Hollister, of Hartford, Connecticut.  Tim’s 17 year old some Reid died in a one-car crash in 2006.  Since then, Tim has gone on to become a nationally-known advocate for safer teen driving, first through his national blog for parents, “From Reid’s Dad,”, and now in his new book “NOT SO FAST: Parenting your Teen through the Dangers of Driving,” published last month by the Chicago Review Press:

I have been blogging about safe teen driving for four years, and my blog has now turned into a book, but quite understandably, parents often ask me to prioritize my advice.  They ask – what are your top ten? — or five? or three? — pointers for parents of teen drivers?  Here is my Top Five List.  Please note that none of them has anything to do with teaching a teen how to drive a car.  My focus is informed, proactive supervision of teen drivers BEFORE they get behind the wheel:

1. The human brain is not fully developed until we reach our mid 20’s, and the last part of the brain that develops is the part that provides judgment and restraint.  This is a limitation on the ability of teen drivers that Drivers Ed, training, and good intentions cannot overcome.

2.  Most of the situations that result in teen driver crashes are predictable – we have years of statistics on what they are.  Therefore, a parent’s job is not just to teach a teen to drive, but to beware and preempt these situation before their teens get behind the wheel.

3.  Parents should treat newer drivers like pilots of an airplane, by preparing a “flight plan” covering safety each time a teen gets behind the wheel.

4. Parent need to understand the critical difference between purposeful driving (teens with a destination, a route, and reason to arrive safety and on time) and joyriding (teens in a car for fun).  The latter is much more dangerous.

5.  For electronic devices of all types, the only rule that makes sense for teen drivers, though difficult to enforce, is zero tolerance.  This means the cellphone goes in the glove box before the car starts and stays there until the car is turned off, and it also mean teens should not use the ever-increasing array of dashboard mounted technology, such as a screen with interactive Internet access, in newer model cars.

Kicking off Alcohol Awareness Month with Congressman Himes and West Rocks Middle School!

April 2nd, 2013

Today we kicked off Alcohol Awareness Month right in Norwalk, Connecticut with one of our favorite Ask, Listen, Learn partners—Congressman Himes! Ask, Listen, Learn at West Rocks Middle School today was our first event of the month and set the tone for an awesome April! The kids loved meeting the Congressman and hearing about his own personal reasons to avoid the dangers of underage drinking.

We were all impressed to hear Congressman Himes was a certified EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) by the age of 16. Apart from loving to help people Congressman Himes was grateful to have served as an EMT since it showed him firsthand the dangers of underage drinking.  After responding to numerous medical emergencies involving underage drinking Congressman Himes was more convinced than ever that drinking underage was extremely dangerous and not worth the risk.

For Congressman Himes, having someone to talk to about the pressures of underage drinking is just as important as actually saying NO! Everyone will at some point be faced with peer pressure and staying strong and making smart choices is much easier when you have someone you trust and feel comfortable talking to about the pressures you face in middle school and high school.

So this April, in honor of Alcohol Awareness Month be sure to #JointheConvo. You can #JoinTheConvo on TwitterFacebook, by taking the Ask, Listen, Learn pledge, and by finding someone you trust to talk to about peer pressure and the ways you can say NO to underage drinking and YES to a healthy lifestyle.

Thank you, West Rocks Middle!

May 1st, 2012

This morning, Congressman Jim Himes (@jahimes) joined the Ask, Listen, Learn team in Norwalk, CT at West Rocks Middle School to talk to the entire 8th grade about saying YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking. Our student volunteers did a great job demonstrating the interactive game!


Thank you to Principal Dr. Lynne Moore and 8th grade team leaders Mr. Brian Ruther and Mr. Frank Cirino for having us.  And to all the students: keep working toward that 60 minutes of activity a day!

Attorney General Blumenthal and Misty May-Treanor Want You to Say NO to Underage Drinking

April 8th, 2009

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Professional Beach Volleyball player Misty May-Treanor in a Public Service Announcement about underage drinking. Brought to you by The Century Council.

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