JAMESTOWN, NY—U.S. Women’s gymnastics team captain and gold medalist Aly Raisman joined The Century Council to bring Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix to students at Persell Middle School today. The Century Council created an interactive, physical fitness activity that builds on the existing Ask, Listen, Learn program and encourages kids to “say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking.” The initiative is based on research by Harvard Medical School’s Dr. John Ratey, showing that for a person’s brain to function at its peak; the body needs to move. The interactive activity, as well as a supporting website, encourages kids to live a healthy lifestyle. The program also provides parents and caregivers with information and strategies to help jumpstart the conversation about the dangers of underage drinking.
This is Raisman’s first event with the Ask, Listen, Learn program. She won two gold and a bronze medal in London, and was the first U.S. gymnast to win gold in the floor exercise. She is an eight-time national championship medalist, received a gold medal at the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic and at the 2012 AT&T American Cup for vault and floor. She was also awarded the International Coaches Award for her leadership and teamwork.
“As the oldest of four kids in my family, I’m so excited to promote the mission of The Century Council’s Ask, Listen, Learn program, said Raisman. “My younger siblings watch my every move, and I want all the students here today to know that if I drank alcohol in middle school it could have seriously hindered my gymnastic achievements. My parents were always supportive and encouraged me to make the right decisions to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle- this message is so important to share with families.”
Ralph Blackman President and CEO of The Century Council added, “Aly Raisman has accomplished so much as an athlete at a young age. She has prospered through the tough decisions and peer pressures of middle school and high school with a poise we can all admire. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 14% of 12 to 15 year olds report they have consumed alcohol in the past month. Our Ask, Listen, Learn program has the potential to further reduce these numbers, as half (49%) of 12-14 year olds believe alcohol education has made a difference in the decision they have made regarding alcohol. Our hope is that Aly will be able to drive home the need to make smart decisions to the students here today.”
Ask, Listen, Learn was developed more than seven years ago and is the most widely distributed alcohol education program of its kind. Ask, Listen, Learn’s new initiatives include:
Asklistenlearn.com encourages young people to “say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking” by offering interactive and educational games and videos.
- Anyone can become a member of the Ask, Listen, Learn Team by taking a pledge to make healthy choices.
- Ask, Listen, Learn utilizes role models such as gold medalist swimmer Rebecca Soni, Paralympic swimmer Mallory Weggemann, track stars Tyson Gay and Bryan Clay, and the most decorated athlete in Taekwondo, Steven Lopez, as “Superstars.” Superstars encourage kids to make responsible decisions and live a healthy lifestyle.
About The Century Council
The Century Council, is a national not-for-profit leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam, Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; and Pernod Ricard USA. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, The Century Council promotes responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol and develops and implements innovative programs and public awareness campaigns which ignite action through strategic partnerships. Established in 1991, The Century Council’s initiatives are highlighted on its website at www.centurycouncil.org and www.asklistenlearn.org.
(202)637-0077 or AllenT@CenturyCouncil.org