In response to New Mexico’s high rates of underage drinking, the New Mexico Department of Transportation is providing the Boys & Girls Club of Roswell with funds to provide a research-based prevention program, SMART Choices, to reduce and prevent underage drinking.
SMART Choices is a multi-level approach to preventing underage alcohol use that involves parents, the community and young people in order to have the greatest influence on youth behavior.
“SMART Choices is a great program, the kind of program we continually strive to provide to our members,” said Jaynan McKelvey, unit director of the Boys & Girls Club of Roswell. “We have a great deal of confidence in the effectiveness of SMART Choices because it’s based upon the award-winning SMART Moves program.”
SMART Moves is Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s proven, evidence-based, successful curriculum that builds skills, provides resistance training and guides decision making in youth, lowering the chances they will use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. SMART Moves’ engaging, interactive activities increase participants’ peer support, enhance their life skills, build their resiliency and strengthen their leadership skills. This program encourages collaborations among the club staff, youth, parents and other community organizations.
SMART Choices takes the skills, mastery and resistance training concept even further by also providing members with “the Boys & Girls Club Experience” where youth benefit from positive, supportive relationships with staff, academic support, high yield learning activities and a safe fun environment with opportunities to learn and explore.
“We are pleased to offer a program that includes age-appropriate components designed to provide young people with the knowledge to help them make healthy choices, practice responsible behaviors and avoid using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs,” said McKelvey.
By providing SMART Choices, a “Boys & Girls Club Experience” and activities designed to reach out and impact the community in which our youth live, McKelvey said. The Boys & Girls Club of Roswell hopes to increase social norms against underage drinking. For more information about the Boys & Girls Club, call 623-3196.