February 27, 2007 – Miss America 2006 Jennifer Berry will teach Chicago 1st graders a lesson from Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s alcohol use prevention program, Protecting You/Protecting Me on Tuesday, February 27 at Bell Elementary School. State Farm, the national presenting sponsor of Protecting You/Protecting Me, will announce it’s donating the “youth-led” program including the curriculum, training and materials to seven elementary schools and seven high schools in Chicago. The lesson by Berry is an example of what high school students will be teaching the younger classes this fall.
Berry, whose platform is “Building Intolerance to Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking,” volunteered for five years to implement Protecting You/Protecting Me in Oklahoma schools. Berry knows firsthand the loss of a loved one. Her 15-year-old high school friend was killed in an underage drunk driving crash.
MADD’s Protecting You/Protecting Me is the only curriculum of its kind that educates elementary students on the ABC’s of alcohol: Alcohol’s harmful effects, Brain development and Car safety, including how to stay safe if riding with an alcohol-impaired driver. Implemented in 28 states, Protecting You/Protecting Me is proven effective in helping prevent underage drinking by educating students before they take their first drink of alcohol, which could be as early as age 12. A recent study showed that Chicago had the highest rate of binge drinking among those 12 and older in the top 15 metropolitan areas.