High School Students Invited To Enter Anti-Alcohol PSA Contest

TRENTON – The prom is one of the most memorable celebrations in a high school student’s life. A statewide educational initiative is aiming to make sure that proms this school year will be memorable to students for the right reasons.

This week, Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Jerry Fischer announced the beginning of the fifth annual “Proms and Alcohol Don’t Mix” public service announcement contest, a program that highlights the danger of alcohol for high school students.

“We want students to enjoy a healthy and safe prom season, and my hope is that this contest will help students focus on the dangers of alcohol,” Dow said.

A letter was sent out Monday to all New Jersey high school principals, asking schools to have their senior students work together on teams to develop scripts for a public service announcement. One overall winning entry will be selected and a number of additional entries will be chosen as runner-up winners. High school students who participate in developing these winning entries will be invited to a special party to recognize their accomplishment. The one overall winning entry will be produced and distributed for broadcast on local television stations.

Last year’s contest winner, created by students from Pascack Regional High School in Hillsdale was selected from 45 submissions from throughout the state.

“The prom should be a joyful celebration, not an invitation for tragedy, which is what alcohol brings to the party,” Fischer said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, youths who consume alcohol are more likely to experience alcohol-related car crashes and other accidents, such as burns, falls and drowning. The 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey also found that among high school students, 42 percent of them drank alcohol, 10 percent drove after drinking and 28 percent rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

The following rules apply to the contest:

  • Each high school may submit up to three public service announcement scripts. High school students may work in teams to develop the scripts. The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control encourages as many senior students as possible to participate in the development of the scripts. Only senior high school students are eligible to participate in this program.
  • The phrase “Proms and Alcohol Don’t Mix” must be included in the public service announcement.
  • The senior students will be asked to participate in the taping of the public service announcements by appearing in the actual video and/or assisting in the production and editing. Only senior high school students from the winning school may appear in the video.
  • The public service announcements must meet broadcast, on-air criteria and must be a maximum of thirty seconds in length. Students should time the scripts by reading them out loud prior to submissions. It is critical that students adhere to this requirement since the winning entry will be professionally produced.
  • All scripts must be typed and submitted on 8 ½ -inch by 11-inch paper.
  • No copyrighted characters, music, or the use of celebrities can be used or inferred. Scripts must reflect originality and imagination, and must be easily filmed and produced.
  • Content should not be graphic in nature.
  • Senior students must include details of what each scene should look like when it is produced on camera.

The deadline for submission is Friday, December 16. All entries must be sent to the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 140 East Front Street, P.O. Box 087, Trenton, New Jersey 08625, Attn: Kelly Troilo, High School Prom TV PSA Contest.

To view last year’s winner, visit the ABC website at http://www.nj.gov/oag/abc/annual-psa-contest.html.

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