A unique comic book teaches an important lesson - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

A unique comic book teaches an important lesson

EYOTA, Minn. (KTTC)-- Some sixth graders spent their afternoon reading comic books, but for a much different reason than you would imagine...the students got a lesson in the perils of alcohol.

Many may be shocked by the fact that they are sixth graders talking about alcohol use, but middle school is when most students first start experimenting with alcohol.

These students are participating in Project Northland, a program that implements a series of projects for students from sixth to ninth grade, in an effort to reduce underage alcohol use. comic books including the Slick Tracy series are the first step in the program.

Sixth grade student, Abbe Lacey says, "Its about helping kids get a prevention from alcohol and what types of effects it has on your body and it is so important we learn because it is even more harmful to our young bodies."

Another sixth grader, Tommy Helmoski talks about the comic book, "They're trying to get alcohol to make it look like it's fun and the other people are trying to make sure it doesn't look fun."

Thirty-six students were chosen as role models, by their classmates and after they complete the three hour training these leaders will bring back what they've learned and teach other students.

Planning and implementation grant coordinator, Cherisa Broadwater explains, "They'll go on to lead the small group discussions in their classrooms."

The evidence based curriculum has been used all over the country and it has shown to have a 30 percent reduction in underage drinking.

But this is the first year Dover-Eyota has had the chance to participate... thanks to a grant awarded to the school in the spring of 2011.

Broadwater states, "We'll be doing data tracking on these kids all the way through high school. The grant will last five years so we'll be able to see if our underage drinking numbers go down and the curriculum is a part of that."

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