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SAMHSA News - March/April 2007, Volume 15, Number 2


Reach Out Now Educates Teachers, Students

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and SAMHSA and Scholastic, Inc., are collaborating once again to support Reach Out Now, SAMHSA’s alcohol awareness and underage drinking prevention program that disseminates educational materials to national, state, local, and youth leaders.

The recent release of these 2007 Reach Out Now materials coincided with the release of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on underage drinking. (See Surgeon General Issues Call to Action.)

Program materials are designed especially for use by fifth- and sixth-grade students, their families, and their teachers (see SAMHSA News online, March/April 2006). This March, classrooms across the Nation received packets that included a four-page set of lessons and activities for school use as well as a “take-home” packet for parents.

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For Parents

Reach Out Now encourages parents to create a strong, trusting relationship with their child—one that is based on good communication. By developing open communication with a child, parents increase the likelihood that the child will confide in them when he or she is faced with a serious problem.

Reach Out Now packets for parents offer “Six Key Actions” to help prevent children from using alcohol. Parents are urged to:

  • Establish and maintain good communication with their child.

  • Get involved and stay involved in their child’s life.

  • Make clear rules and enforce them with consistency and appropriate consequences.

  • Be positive role models.

  • Teach children to choose friends wisely.

  • Monitor children’s activities.

Annual Reach Out Now activities also include teach-ins, which allow national, youth, state, and local leaders to educate communities nationwide about the dangers of underage alcohol use. Teach-ins also encourage young people to make healthy decisions.

The 2007 Reach Out Now materials are available for free download on SAMHSA’s Web site at

Program materials include:

  • A lesson plan and talking points

  • Resource guides

  • True-false quiz and word-search puzzles

  • Certificate templates for people who attend teach-ins

  • Media kits and outreach materials.

These materials, and more, are available for free download at

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