OKLAHOMA PROMOTES STATEWIDE ALCOHOL EDUCATION INITIATIVE IN HIGH SCHOOLS TO REDUCE UNDERAGE DRINKING


The Oklahoma State Department of Education (SDE), in partnership with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), is offering AlcoholEdu® for High School through a new online learning platform.

AlcoholEDU for High School is an innovative online alcohol education program, free to 7th- to 12th-grade students across the state, as part of the state’s 2 Much 2 Lose (2M2L) underage drinking prevention effort. The initiative is funded through ODMHSAS in conjunction with The Office of Governor Mary Fallin and the Department of Education as part of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants. ODMHSAS recently partnered with EverFi, an education technology platform company, to provide the program. The program was initially launched in early 2012.

“High school students who use alcohol or other substances are five times more likely than other students to drop out of school, in addition to other potential devastating effects,” State Superintendent Janet Barresi said. “Implementing AlcoholEdu at high schools across the state may help save lives and impact the health, safety, and academic performance of Oklahoma teens.”

According to a 2010 report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), almost three out of every four high school students (72%) consumed alcohol by the end of their senior years. From 8th grade to 10th grade, the number of students who reported drinking alcohol in the last month before they were surveyed nearly doubled, pointing to the urgent need to educate students at a young age.

AlcoholEdu® for High School is an interactive, new-media learning platform that takes a public-health approach to preventing alcohol abuse, incorporating evidence-based prevention methods to create a highly engaging user experience. The course delivers personalized feedback to all students based on their drinking experiences, and helps them establish individual goals for making smart decisions about alcohol. Pre- and post-surveys yield robust data on students’ alcohol use, including where, when, why, and how students drink.

Twenty-five Oklahoma schools have used AlcoholEdu to date, and several additional schools are scheduled to implement it this spring. Superintendent Barresi hopes more schools will consider implementing this free resource.

Implementation for the course is quick and easy. The appropriate school personnel can fill-out the sign-up sheet, linked at the bottom of this release, to receive login codes from EverFi’s Partner Services Director, Tyla Vercollone. Schools are encouraged to schedule a brief implementation call with Tyla to review the implementation process and the course outline.

Once schools receive their login codes, they are set to begin the course. It will take three 30-minute sessions in the computer lab to complete the course. The final exam is graded, and teachers can view the grades on the admin site. Teachers and administrators are encouraged to demo the course. Contact Tyla Vercollone at 781-726 6677 x115 or by email at tyla@everfi.com, for the demo login code.

“Each year, a third of all college freshmen take our collegiate program, which has a federal study proving that it works,” said Abby Rogers, Vice President for Partner Services for EverFi. “It is critical that we continue this work to reach younger students during the transition to ninth grade – where research shows they are at great risk to begin drinking.”

“Oklahoma is a leader in its prevention efforts, and ODMHSAS understands the importance of providing teens with a solid educational foundation that addresses the risks of alcohol,” said EverFi CEO Tom Davidson. “Growing up in the Tulsa school system myself, I was extremely excited to be a part of this statewide initiative.”

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Last updated on February 4, 2013