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MEO anti-drinking program resumes

Noel Ramirez attends MEO’s Youth Services Slick Tracy Underage Drinking Prevention Program in David Tanaka’s classroom at Kalama Intermediate on May 19. — KRISTIN WELLS photo

Maui Economic Opportunity Youth Services instructors returned to the classroom at Kalama Intermediate School on May 17 to teach the Underage Drinking Prevention program for the first time since the start of the pandemic last March.

The Youth Services team met with students in person and offered the curriculum to about 50 sixth graders from May 17 to 28. Safety protocols were followed, including social distancing and mask wearing.

“We missed teaching in the classroom and are so grateful for the opportunity to be back,” said Dane Ka’ae, Youth Services director. “Through our program, we hope to educate the youths about the dangers of alcohol on their own health and safety, as well as the community as a whole.”

Youths in the after-school program have been involved in anti-drinking and prevention campaigns, collaborating with the Maui Police Department and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

The Underage Drinking Prevention Program uses comic books to bring awareness to false facts that youths might have heard about alcohol, show ways that alcohol companies target children with their advertisements, overcome peer pressure and learn about the consequences of underage drinking.

The curriculum also gets parents involved and has activities that are meant to start a conversation between the child and their parents about the risks of alcohol.

For more information about MEO Youth Services programs, call 249-2990 or visit www.meoinc.org.

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