Responsibility.org and Students Against Destructive Decisions Partner to Bring the Smashed Project to US High Schools for the First Time
ARLINGTON, VA – Responsibility.org, in partnership with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Collingwood Learning, today announced the US launch of the Smashed Project, a unique theater education program that aims to prevent underage drinking among high school students. The Smashed Project equips students with the knowledge and skills they need to make smart decisions about alcohol. The pilot tour will take place in three states – Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio – starting this week, reaching approximately 4,000 ninth grade students.
In addition to a live theater performance at each event, students will participate in an interactive workshop and a detailed evaluation the impact of the program.
The Smashed Project, originally developed by Collingwood Learning in partnership with young people and teachers in the United Kingdom fifteen years ago, has since been adapted and delivered in 20 countries across six continents, reaching more than half a million young people to-date. “We’re excited for the opportunity to bring the program to US high school students and engage with them on the dangers of underage drinking through the Smashed Project,” said Ben Nordstrom M.D., Ph.D., Executive Director of Responsibility.org.
The program has been adapted for the US audience in partnership with SADD. The Smashed Project’s learning objectives align closely with SADD’s mission to empower youth to confront the risks and pressures that challenge them and make healthy decisions.
“Underage drinking is a public health issue that affects communities across the country, and we are thrilled to arm our students and chapters with a prevention program that will make a large impact. Often, young people don’t fully realize the harmful effects that drinking underage can have on not only their bodies, but their families, communities, mental health, friendships, and more. We are confident that the Smashed Project will play a large role in making students aware of those consequences,” said Rick Birt, President and CEO of SADD.
In addition, students in SADD chapters across the country have been instrumental in introducing the Smashed Project to their schools. “From assisting in the script editing process to sharing information with their peers, SADD students have supported the adaption of this program from the beginning. Their involvement adds another layer to the learning process, as we know that student-led initiatives are most effective,” added Birt.
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking through bringing the Smashed Project to high schools in the US, especially during Alcohol Responsibility Month and the prom and graduation season,” said Chris Simes, Managing Director at Collingwood Learning.
The tour begins on April 24th at Riverside High School in Leesburg, Virginia and will conclude on May 20th at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Responsibility.org is a national not-for-profit that aims to eliminate drunk driving and work with others to end all impaired driving, eliminate underage drinking, and empowers adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. Responsibility.org is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Edrington, Mast-Jägermeister US, Inc.; and Pernod Ricard USA. For over 27 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families and communities together to inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices. To learn more, please visit Responsibility.org.
For 35 years, SADD, Inc. has been committed to empowering young people to take control of their lives, make healthy and safe life decisions and become positive peer influencers in their schools and communities. Founded as Students Against Driving Drunk in 1981, SADD is the nation’s premier youth health and safety organization, with thousands of chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. For more information, visit SADD online at sadd.org or follow SADD on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
About Collingwood Learning
Collingwood Learning is an award-winning educational company based in the UK specializing in theater-based learning. They tackle many social issues that impact young people and developed the Smashed Project in the UK as a tool to help schools increase awareness of the dangers of underage drinking. In addition to working in 300 UK schools, Collingwood has developed a network of international partners in over 20 countries and will reach 250,000 young people this year.