Students Lead 2023–24 Campaign on Underage Drinking

Friday Night Live Chapters Aim to Counter Social Stereotypes 

Sacramento, CA—This school year, three Friday Night Live chapters in Sacramento County – which are supported by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) – implemented projects to help tackle underage drinking in the county. Friday Night Live (FNL) builds partnerships for positive and healthy youth development, engaging youth as active community leaders and resources to create positive changes on essential issues. 

Underage alcohol consumption is a persistent and severe public health challenge, resulting in thousands of deaths yearly through motor vehicle crashes, violence, suicide, alcohol poisoning, and other causes. Although underage drinking rates are declining, 23% of high school students consumed alcohol in the last 30 days, and an additional 14% rode with a driver who had been drinking (CDC, 2022). Friday Night Live members are on a mission at Del Campo High School (San Juan USD), Inderkum High School (Natomas USD), and Rio Linda High School (Twin Rivers USD) to promote the continued decline in underage drinking rates. 

The Del Campo FNL chapter embarked on a youth-driven initiative to reduce underage access to alcohol by conducting store assessments. They provided merchant education on preventative safety measures to restrict access for youth under 21 and worked with retailers to inform customers of the consequences of alcohol sales to minors. Express Food & Liquors and Kwik Serv in Fair Oaks partnered with Del Campo FNL to place educational flyers on alcohol bottles, disseminating information to community members. Through the year-long campaign, youth in FNL received training on data collection, environmental prevention, and the health risks of underage drinking, plus developed valuable public speaking and leadership skills. 

There is a common misconception that all young people are participating in underage drinking. Misleading depictions of youth perpetuate this false narrative in film, television, and social media. Due to the saturation of these images and messages, many young people may feel isolated in their decision not to drink. Social norms are the behaviors that a group—such as teens—believes to be acceptable, and they have been proven to influence behavior. The FNL members of Inderkum and Rio Linda High Schools launched multi-media initiatives to promote positive social norms by highlighting stories about their peers who choose healthy behaviors and remain alcohol-free. 

Sacramento residents should be proud to know that 80% of 10th graders in the Twin Rivers Unified School District have never had alcohol within their community, and 84% of Inderkum High School students reported not using alcohol. FNL members highlighted these positive behaviors by creating posters, digital graphics, and public service announcements to encourage more young people across the county to participate in healthy life decisions. FNL members permeated their campuses, neighborhoods, and online platforms with their messages wherever young people congregate. In addition, Inderkum and Rio Linda High School FNL members encouraged parents and community members to refrain from giving minors alcohol by implementing a parent Pledge. To educate their peers about the dangers of underage drinking, FNL members planned and implemented schoolwide activities on their campus that simulate how alcohol use can affect one’s movements. 

“I love being able to know that the work we did as a chapter is making a difference. It’s so nice being a part of something that creates positive change on our campus and in the community.” — Kaitlyn May, Inderkum High School 

Del Campo, Inderkum, and Rio Linda FNL joined young people in 45 chapters across California for this collaborative effort to reduce alcohol access for minors and mitigate the damages caused to communities by underage drinking. 

With support from the California Friday Night Live Partnership and grant funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety (through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), students from FNL chapters across California are utilizing environmental prevention strategies to develop youth-led initiatives that educate their peers, neighbors, and local leaders about ways to reduce underage drinking. 

The Prevention and Early Intervention Department at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) supports Friday Night Live and Club Live chapters in Sacramento County. 

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), plays a leadership role in the delivery of quality education to the students in Sacramento County, which is home to the California state capital comprising 1.4 million residents and seven cities. SCOE directly educates more than 30,000 children and adults each year—including thousands of district teachers who attend training sessions and workshops. It provides support services to more than 247,000 students in 13 school districts, four of which are some of the state’s largest. SCOE provides technical assistance, curriculum and instructional support, staff development, legal and financial advice, and oversight to Sacramento County school districts. Its programs and services are available to schools, districts, and other county offices of education across the region. 

Considered a leader of the Capital Service Region—a 10-county area consisting of Alpine, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba Counties—SCOE is one of 58 county offices of education in California. SCOE staff work year-round providing services which complement and supplement those offered by public school districts in Sacramento County. 

SCOE news articles highlighting recent events and accomplishments are available, in addition to releases and advisories in the SCOE Pressroom

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