Reprinted from "Alcohol" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 2 (9), p. 33
Ottawa, September 26, 2005—Media Awareness Network (MNet) today launched The Target Is You!—a new national education program for youth on alcohol advertising. This series of 10 lessons is designed to help young people understand the significant social and psychological effects of messages in alcohol advertising in influencing their attitudes about drinking. “
“The Target Is You! will be a great addition to MNet’s overall media education resources on a variety of marketing and advertising awareness issues,” said Michelle Scarborough, MNet’s Executive Director. “With over 300 lesson plans online already, MNet is bolstering its commitment to providing the widest possible array of practical tools for teachers and parents to help kids understand media.”
The Target Is You!,which includes 10 lesson plans, backgrounders, overheads and student handouts and activities, was made possible by funding or support from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), the Canadian Teacher’s Federation (CTF) and Health Canada’s Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund.
MADD Canada is proud to partner with Media Awareness Network to make The Target Is You! a reality,” said Andrew Murie, MADD Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “Young people are being overwhelmed with messages on alcohol products but receive very little information on the risks associated with alcohol. This national program gives young people the information they need to make smart choices about alcohol.”
The lesson plans, available free of charge on MNet’s web site, are designed for students in Grades 4 to 11 and cover a range of alcohol advertising issues including the understanding of brands, alcohol ads and sports as well as messages about gender in alcohol ads.
“This program is extremely timely and relevant for today’s teachers,” said Winston Carter, president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. “Canadian teachers have often called for classroom resources in order to instill in their students critical thinking skills to help them navigate our media rich environment. Kudos—once again—to MNet for providing teachers with the tools they need to tackle, in a proactive and effective manner, the issue of alcohol advertising.”
Through this new program’s media education approach to alcohol-related issues, teachers are presented with a powerful and engaging new tool to reach young people. As students deconstruct and think critically about messaging in alcohol ads and compare these messages to the real consequences of drinking, educators are provided with opportunities to help them better understand and contextualize all the factors that contribute to underage drinking habits.
About the Author
MNet is a non-profit Canadian organization whose mission is to support and encourage media and Internet education, and its widest possible integration into Canadian schools, homes and communities