DATE: May 22, 2006
Contact: Communication Office
MONTPELIER – Media messages about alcohol can imply that drinking will make a young person strong, athletic, desirable, a social magnet and powerful.
A poster created by Lukas Scheurer, 15, a student at Chelsea Public School, shows a drawing of a young person bombarded by pro-alcohol messages who has resolved to say “No.” As part of this April’s Alcohol Awareness Month activities, the Vermont Department of Health sponsored a poster contest on media literacy for youth ages 10-17.
“I watch movies a lot, and most movies or comedies involve drinking, and there are never any consequences,” Scheurer said. “In Driver’s Education class last fall we watched movies about people who were drinking and driving, and when someone is impaired there can be horrific consequences.”
Scheurer’s poster won first-place honors in the individual category and earned him an Apple iPOD. Gov. Jim Douglas will present the award on May 26, 11 a.m. at Chelsea Public School.
Vermont youth are surrounded by alcohol messages every day through music, movies and print media, Gov. Douglas said. More Vermont youth drink alcohol than smoke tobacco or use other drugs, making it the most used drug by young Vermonters.
“Young Vermonters need to become media savvy,” said Gov. Douglas. “Studies show alcohol, when introduced at a young age, can become a lifelong addiction and significantly reduces a person’s ability to live a healthy, productive life. This poster contest is a great way to educate youth and their parents about the harmful impact of underage drinking.”
The pressure to drink alcohol is widespread, said Barbara Cimaglio, deputy commissioner of health for alcohol and drug abuse programs, which forces students to proactively make the decision not to drink.
“Young people must continue to reject mainstream messages that present a false reality and fail to show the destructive downside of alcohol use,” Cimaglio said.
Rachel Kerner and Catherine Gilman of Ludlow School, won first place in the group poster contest for their depiction of how films showcase drinking and driving behavior. Catherine and Rachel, both age 12, each won an Apple iPOD for their artwork. Gov. Douglas will present the awards at Ludlow School on June 5 at 9:30 a.m.
To view the winning posters visit
First place -Individual: Lukas Scheurer - Chelsea (The Valley News, The Randolph Herald, Journal Opinion, and Behind the Times (winning a certificate and iPOD)
First place - Group: Rachel Kerner and Catherina Gilman - Ludlow (winning a certificate and iPOD)
Second place - Individual: Kate Gardner - South Hero (winning a $50 VISA gift card)
Third place - Individual: Whitney Maxham - South Hero (winning a $25 VISA gift card)