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INFORMATIONAL LETTER:39

POLICY CODE: †††††† IHAMA

 

TO:††††††††††††††††† All Superintendents of Schools, Public and Private Secondary and Elementary School Principals, Safe and Drug Free Schools Contact Persons

 

FROM:†††††††††††† Susan Gendron, Commissioner, Department of Education

Kimberly Johnson, Director, Office of Substance Abuse, Department of Health and Human Services

 

DATE:†††††††††††† September 17, 2004

 

SUBJECT:††††††† MRSA Title 20-A, Section 4803, Sub-section 5, Alcohol Awareness Day

 

Alcohol Awareness Day, the first Monday in December, shall be observed by studying, for at least 45 minutes, a constructive approach toward the use of alcohol and the problems and dangers of alcohol abuse upon the individual, the family, and the society.The Commissioner shall prepare appropriate materials for this observation.

 

††††††††††† Alcohol Awareness Day will be December 6, 2004, as part of Maineís Alcohol Awareness Week, December 6-10, 2004.Many civic groups and alcohol service agencies, along with schools, will be sponsoring Alcohol Awareness Week activities. Through this law, the State of Maine recognizes the need for schools and community organizations to address alcohol issues.

 

††††††††††† Teachers seeking assistance in planning an Alcohol Awareness Day activity may contact the Maine Office of Substance Abuse, Information and Resource Center, Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-499-0027, or 287-8900, TTY 1-800-215-7604 or Email at osa.ircosa@maine.gov.Age-appropriate materials which can be duplicated for classroom use are available upon request.Using a video, followed by a class discussion, is another way to address Alcohol Awareness Day.The Center staff have videos available for loan (they suggest reserving a video at least 3 weeks prior to the event).All titles are online in a searchable database at http://www.maineosa.org/irc .†††

 

††††††††††† One video featuring the voices of Maine youth was produced as part of the If You Think Most Kids Drink--Think Again media campaign.The ten minute video includes footage from the Public Service Announcements that were created for the campaign.This video includes a guide that can be used to stimulate a discussion about underage drinking.To schedule this video, contact the Information and Resource Center.

 

††††††††††† Another source of useful classroom materials on alcohol use prevention and other health issues is the Maine Health Education Resource Collection, University of Maine, Orono.To view the listing of available classroom resources, go to http://www.library.umaine.edu/lmc/herc .

 

††††††††††† Beyond observing Alcohol Awareness Day, it is essential that Maine students be provided with education and awareness about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, abuse and dependence.It is important for schools to link alcohol prevention instruction to the Maine Learning Results.The Department of Education and the Office of Substance Abuse encourage the establishment of comprehensive, ongoing programs for Kindergarten through Grade 12 students as part of health education and coordinated school health programs.This comprehensive approach will produce the greatest impact in the area of tobacco, and other drug prevention and education.For more information, see the coordinated school health guidelines at http://www.mainecshp.com or contact Katherine Wilbur, Department of Education, Director of Health Education and Coordinated School Health Programs at 624.6696, or kathy.wilbur@maine.gov .

 

DNS/KW/gdw

 

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