Campus: CSU Hayward -- April 2, 2004

CSUH Health Center Staff Offers Interactive Education to Hayward Youth on Dangers of Alcohol, Drugs

Alex Trebeck provides neither the answers nor questions, but Alcohol Jeopardy is a game that may prevent students at nine Hayward middle schools and high schools from losing at the game of life by abusing alcohol and drugs.

Alcohol Jeopardy is one of several interactive learning tools of the "For Real" program, as it has been named by the three staff members of the Student Health Center at California State University, Hayward who developed it.

They presented "For Real" during the fall and winter quarters to about 600 students at Tennyson and Brenkwitz high schools and Cesar Chavez, Winton and Bret Harte middle schools. They expect to reach another 900 students at Hayward and Mt. Eden high schools and Ochoa and King middle schools during the spring and fall quarters.

"For Real" is a pilot program funded with a $56,000 grant awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through its "Sober Driver Initiative." Its curriculum was developed by Jennifer Miranda, CSUH student and peer health coordinator, with the assistance of Elizabeth Ghobrial and Maggie Gaddis, Cal State Hayward health educators. Their work for this program and the Student Health Center also is sponsored by the university’s Division of Student Affairs.

"Right now this curriculum is being piloted in the Hayward Unified School District," said Ghobrial. "We help the students act out scenarios that incorporate social norm messages using visual aids, discussing the media’s role in alcohol advertising, and encouraging an open dialogue that will provide the students with knowledge and skill-building opportunities.

"We hope that ‘For Real’ will eventually be adopted by other CSU campuses so that they can help schools and school districts from throughout the state deal effectively with the alcohol problem."

"For Real" is a two-day interactive alcohol education program that explores the social dimensions of alcohol use and abuse, according to Ghobrial. Peer educators from Cal State Hayward are trained to go to the area’s high schools and middle schools to talk with students about alcohol issues.

"Research demonstrates that peer educators are effective agents for change when working with risky health behaviors in youth," Gaddis explained. "When identifying campus alcohol prevention strategies, it makes sense to expand peer education beyond the university and begin education and prevention efforts at a younger age."
"Among the program’s curriculum components are ‘alcohol facts’ and the immediate consequences of alcohol abuse, decision-making skills enhancement, and building a social support system," Ghobrial said.

The program’s mission provides students with information on the risks associated with alcohol use, increase knowledge of personal protective behaviors, and increase discussion on the effects of other drugs, such as marijuana, according to Gaddis.

The goal: fewer lives in "jeopardy" to alcohol- and drug-related accidents.

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