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Members of Congress and Aly Raisman fight underage drinking

This week, eight Members of Congress partnered with our Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program and gold medalist and U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team Captain, Aly Raisman, to encourage kids to “say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking.”

To begin the new school year, Representatives Dan Benishek, André Carson, Danny Davis, Ron Kind, Mike McIntyre, Loretta Sanchez, Filemon Vela and Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility in launching public service announcements with Ask, Listen, Learn Superstar Aly Raisman. The PSAs, which will appear on YouTube and Twitter during this important Back-to-School time, include positive messages for kids and parents and encourage parents to start the conversation about underage drinking with their kids early and to have it often.

These dedicated Members of Congress are not alone when it comes to sharing this important message. Hundreds of their colleagues have taped PSAs, held events in their communities or distributed materials to help kids say “NO” to underage drinking. Their efforts go hand-in-hand with the thousands of materials delivered by Scholastic and hundreds of interactive games shared with schools across the country. The PSAs compliment the year-round educational activities of Ask, Listen, Learn and will hopefully spark conversations between parents and their middle school-aged kids about the dangers of underage drinking and how to “say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking.”

Even though the availability of alcohol to underage youth has declined for more than a decade, 30 percent of adolescents say they’ve tried alcohol by the time they reach eighth grade. Parents have a lot of influence on their kid’s decision to drink — or not to drink — alcohol. Time and time again, research shows this to be true. Parents know the decisions their child makes today will certainly have an impact on their life down the road. Aly and these Members of Congress also know this to be true, and that’s why they’ve teamed up to encourage parents to talk to their kids about alcohol and urge them to make healthy decisions for a bright future.

A parent’s opinion matters — a lot — to their kid. It’s critical that parents understand this and use their influence to help their kids make the good decision to avoid drinking underage.