In an effort to prevent underage drinking and access to alcohol, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has awarded eight Community Coalition grants totaling more than $68,000 for alcohol education and enforcement initiatives throughout the commonwealth.
Funded by a federal grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the grants were awarded to organizations that demonstrated a creative plan to promote zero tolerance for underage drinking, reach large numbers of people through its programs, gain broad-based community support and ensure effectiveness and accountability. The following eight organizations are the 2012-2013 Community Coalition grant recipients:
Albemarle County Public Schools Safe Schools/Healthy Students Project; Albemarle County ($6,000)
- Activate Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapters at local high schools; support pre-game ’pro-social’ tailgates at football games that offer refreshments and messages about the risks of underage drinking.
- Develop informational campaign including forums and social media messages aimed at parents to counter the belief that alcohol consumption is an age-appropriate rite of passage for teens.
- Working through high school athletic departments, organize presentations and distribute educational materials about the risks of underage drinking to student athletes.
Central Virginia Community Services & Healthy Individuals through Prevention and Education (HIPE) Coalition; Lynchburg City and Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell counties ($9,000)
- Implement the 21 Means 21 campaign to promote zero tolerance for underage drinking. Partnering with local colleges and high schools, the campaign will include community events and marketing efforts to increase awareness of high-risk drinking practices and the dangers of supplying alcohol to minors.
City of Waynesboro; Waynesboro ($9,491)
- Create alcohol awareness campaign that includes presentations on the dangers of underage drinking aimed at parents during high school basketball games, winter band and choral concerts and holiday parades.
- Implement Parents Who Host Lose the Most marketing campaign that includes distribution of underage drinking facts in materials distributed through pharmacies, fitness centers and public libraries.
HEY! (Helping Engage Youth) Coalition, Piedmont Community Services; Martinsville ($10,000)
- Plan and host a one-day conference with law enforcement, health professionals, school administrators and parents to address law and policy enforcement on underage drinking.
- Develop and implement a media campaign on social hosting that includes public service announcements (PSAs) and billboards.
Prevention Council of Roanoke County, Roanoke ($6,600)
- Incorporate Parents Who Host Lose the Most marketing strategies and materials into a media campaign and community events aimed at engaging parents in prevention of underage drinking efforts.
- Distribute yard signs and legal consequences information cards, as well as train community action teams to promote messages about limiting the availability of alcohol to underage youth.
Rockbridge Area Community Services; Lexington ($9,885)
- Create radio spots to educate youth about the risks and consequences of alcohol use and strategies to make healthy choices.
- Distribute messages about the dangers of underage drinking and supplying alcohol to minors at two juvenile law workshops, parent and student orientations, football games, booths at local school and community events and health fair demonstrations.
- Partner with law enforcement to establish parking lot patrols at football games and identified convenience stores known to be selling alcohol to teens.
Substance Abuse Taskforce in Rural Appalachia (SATIRA); Tazewell ($10,000)
- Support and fund underage alcohol sale compliance checks.
- Develop multi-media outreach, including Facebook, radio, television, newspaper and two billboard public service announcements that target youth and parent perception.
Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County; Fairfax ($7,513.75)
- Create and support a youth council of high school students to coordinate youth-driven underage drinking prevention activities.
- Build an advertising campaign in local newspapers to highlight the dangers of underage drinking and host a mini-conference focused on healthy ways to deal with stress and positive alternatives to alcohol use for teens and parents.
- Create presentations to demonstrate the impact of alcohol advertising and product placement on youth.