NJ Officials Invite Teens To Script Sober Prom PSA

The winning video in the 2012 “Proms and Alcohol Don’t Mix” public service announcement contest, courtesy of the NJ Government’s YouTube channel.

TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John Hoffman and Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Michael Halfacre are calling on New Jersey high school students to send in their take on the negative effects of alcohol during the prom season for the seventh annual “Proms and Alcohol Don’t Mix” public service announcement contest.

A letter from the Acting Attorney General was sent out this week to all New Jersey high school principals, asking schools to have their 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.

“It is important that our young people are aware of the dangers that alcohol can cause them at their critical age,” Hoffman said. “Those effects can be detrimental to their physical and mental well-being. This contest is an effective way to highlight the consequences of consuming alcohol underage.”

Last year’s contest winner, created by students from Robbinsville High School, was selected from more than 50 submissions from throughout the state.

“For seven years, the Division has received unique and thought-provoking concepts on the pressures and challenges teens face with alcohol during prom season,” Halfacre said. “We believe that teens are best at providing that insight to their peers because they can empathize.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), youths who consume alcohol are more likely to experience alcohol-related car crashes and other accidents, such as burns, falls and drowning. The United States Department of Health has found that approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die each year as a result of underage drinking.

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 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 submission. 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 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.
  • Students must include details of what each scene should look like when it is produced on camera.
  •  Include the following information with all entries: Name of school; Name of teacher and contact information (phone number and email address); Name of students and verification they are seniors. Also include the Senior Prom and Graduation dates at the school.

The deadline for submission is Friday, Dec. 13. 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.

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