As an elementary physical education teacher, helping kids say "Yes" to a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important facets of my job. A constant message to my students is about choices we make in life and the positive or negative impact those choices might have. This is the reason we developed the Choose to Refuse program for our students at Arlington Science Focus and we are excited to continue using the Ask, Listen, Learn program and welcome its superstar Olympian Steven Lopez to talk with students in April.  The goal of the program is to provide students with the necessary skills to make the best choice when facing alcohol, tobacco, or other drug decisions. One of my favorite parts of the event is that students from Washington Lee High School facilitate each of the stations for my students.  This is an excellent opportunity for interaction and a chance for these high school students to be advocates and role models. It is also a personal joy for me when I see former students return to be a facilitator.

With April being Alcohol Awareness it's the perfect time to arm students and their families with important information to make wise decisions.  The final piece to the puzzle is the post event information provided to parents about what their children have learned and how to talk about these important issues. Parents play such an important role in helping their child make the right decision.  We seek to arm them with multiple sources of information in order to help guide productive conversations with their child about the dangers of underage drinking as well as the use of tobacco and other drugs.  My belief is that students exposed to information and interactions from many different perspectives will give them the confidence necessary to choose to refuse and say "Yes" to a healthy lifestyle.

Jennifer Hall

Physical Education Teacher, Arlington Science Focus School

Project Fit America All Star Teacher/Regional Trainer