KIDSPEACE Receives PLCB Grant for Teen Alcohol Awareness and Underage Drinking Prevention Page on TeenCentral.Net
KidsPeace is one of 19 Pennsylvania organizations that have been awarded grants from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to support education campaigns aimed at preventing underage alcohol use. This $15,000 award was announced by Will Isemann, KidsPeace President & CEO. “KidsPeace is very honored to be selected as a recipient of this critical funding to assist in our efforts toward prevention of underage and dangerous alcohol use,” Isemann said. The grant will fund a new sub-section on TeenCentral.Net, a website that is operated by KidsPeace and directed by Dr. Julius Licata to assist teen members with issues, questions and information needs. This new page will address the dangers of alcohol use by teens and provide online counseling to teens who send posts for assistance.
The Way it Works
TeenCentral.Net has been helping teens since 1998 and has membership of more than half a million teens. To make use of TeenCentral.Net, teens join and make up a screen name that in no way identifies them. They post their questions to the site, and specially trained counselors review each post before it is made visible to other members. Within 24 hours, the teens receive a response from a counselor that includes empathetic acknowledgement of the problems as described and recommendations of how the teen can deal with the situation. Other teens can write in with encouragement and descriptions of how they faced similar issues. These posts are also screened by counselors, and if deemed appropriate, they are posted following the initial question.
The PLCB also awarded grants to 27 law-enforcement agencies, 26 college and universities and five school districts for underage drinking prevention efforts as part of its 2011-2012 Alcohol Education Grant Program.
“Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among young people, according to a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control,” said Jerry Waters Sr., director of the PLCB’s Office of Regulatory Affairs. “We know underage drinking has a tremendous impact on youth, families and communities throughout Pennsylvania, and we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help children make better choices.”
Developed in 1998, TeenCentral.Net is the groundbreaking, problem-solving website that offers teens a safe and confidential environment to share their questions and concerns about everyday challenges they face. The site, designed and maintained by KidsPeace youth psychology and counseling experts, provides responses to teens within 24 hours and enables teens to post stories about their experiences and share responses to stories in a “peer mentoring” atmosphere. Receiving between 1.5 and 2 million hits per month, TeenCentral.Net has registered more than 479,000 young people since its inception. The free site does not accept advertising and is anonymous for all users.
Highlights of the proposed TeenCentral.Net Alcohol Awareness Sub-Section will include:
➢ An interactive section will be created to demonstrate the effect of a specific amount of alcohol. Teens will be able to enter a number of drinks and the type of alcohol (beer, liquor-based mixed drinks, wine, shots, wine coolers, etc.) and determine intoxication levels.
➢ Teens may access the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and receive counseling within 24 hours of their submission. The site will offer an additional benefit to youth, providing them with responses to the thoughts they have written and offering the opportunity to read about other teens who face similar challenges with respect to peer pressure, their use and abuse of alcohol and drinking and driving.
➢ The TeenCentral.Net Alcohol Awareness Sub-Section will offer specific resources for adolescents, providing distinct and individualized support, as well as ongoing tools that they can utilize.
The new section of TeenCentral.Net is projected for completion in early 2012.