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Teaching underage drinking through drama


THE PROBLEM of underage drinking is tackled through theatre, workshops, online promotions and games, as well as essay writing and video making competitions as part of the second edition of Smashed, a program that aims to educate young people and change attitudes towards alcohol consumption among minors.

Smashed is a global alcohol education and attitude change program delivered in the Philippines by the PETA-Plus Program, a companion business development unit of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA).

Originally developed by Collingwood Learning in the UK in 2009, Smashed is backed by drinks company Diageo. It uses a drama-based learning approach to teach about the harms and consequences of underage drinking, beginning with an interactive drama that follows the lives of three young people and how underage drinking minors affects their lives. Workshops are then held to help viewers understand the facts, causes and consequences of underage drinking.

“Because young people identify with the characters and the script, it’s like turning a mirror on these young people and on their own lives. So what they can do is think about the decision of these characters in this scenario,” Chris Simes, managing director of Collingwood Learning, said in an August 19 online press release.

“Our big priority is around choices, decision-making, information and personal responsibility,” he said. Students are guided through workshops on how to make independent choices around alcohol. “What we’re trying to do is give young people a rehearsal for real life. So that when real life happens, they can make the right choices to protect themselves, their friends and secure their future,” Mr. Simes said.

The international program has reached more than one million young people in 30 countries.

The Filipino project started in September 2021 and went live via a website (online.smashedproject.org). The main target of the Filipino project is Filipino adolescents and aims to “harness critical thinking through informed choice”.

“This is a real departure from the usual approach to alcohol education in schools and makes it impossible to forget the risks of underage drinking. We understand that “Due to the pandemic, teachers and students are still adjusting to the current normal. But we want to help advance learning by providing high-quality educational resources to use, despite the pandemic,” said Ms. Simes in a statement.

Last year, the program started in cities in the National Capital Region (NCR), such as Manila, Quezon City and Pasig City. Smashed PH has collaborated with the Ministry of Education – Youth Training Division in hopes of expanding to other cities nationwide. The initial deployment was able to reach 120 schools or approximately 18,000 students and 675 educators. The program proceeded with an impact report showing that 93% of young people who participated confirmed a change in attitude.

Smashed Philippines worked with consultants from the Department of Education to create a curriculum map that Smashed can be integrated into, as students in grades 5-12 already have an alcohol education element in their curriculum .

As Smashed Philippines works with PETA-Plus, the arts and theater education expertise of its educators and facilitators is shared through activities and programs such as a songwriting workshop, competitions and a creative module for children. teachers.

“It was a very interactive learning platform that allows us to think about the social and emotional causes of underage drinking and how it impacts our lives when exposed early,” said Berna Joy Corpuz , an 11th grade student, from Anao High School in Tarlac City. program in a statement. “It provides us with a safe space and cultivates a culture of support system for young people like us to make an empowered choice that will benefit our future.”

This year, Smashed Philippines programming will take place online and with live performances.

“As someone in the arts and creative industry, I believe this project is not only a great step forward in promoting alcohol education and youth empowerment, but also in promoting applied theater and theater in education as effective teaching tools in the Philippines. It’s great to be part of this global initiative,” said Gold Villar-Lim, theater actress and project leader Smashed Philippines.

Smashed Online uses an interactive drama following three friends Jella, Miko and PJ who struggle with alcohol abuse and the consequences of underage drinking. The characters are played by Gillian Vicencio, Carlos Dala and Luis Ruiz respectively.

The Smashed team will be traveling from school to school to deliver the workshops on the website in person for schools in the NCR and online for areas outside of the NCR. This will be followed by a series of webinars on alcohol education for teachers and young people which will take place in September and December this year, and in February 2023. Four partner schools will also take part in a theater performance in live education from Smashed – Prevention of underage drinking.

Smashed Philippines will implement online web sessions, assemblies, alignment meetings for coordinators and an end-of-year evaluation to strengthen partnerships with existing networks and engage with more institutions. Online promotions and mini-games will be launched on digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. An online essay writing and video making competition for young people will be launched next year.

The Smashed live component from the Philippines will be focus on prevention, which will take the form of a workshop for 40 to 50 students, from the four PETA-Plus partner schools.

The team is currently working on partnerships with the Ministry of Education’s Youth Information Division and its Schools Division offices in Manila, San Juan, Caloocan, Makati and Quezon City.

From 17,700 young people, Smashed Philippines aims to enroll 40,000 students in its second year.

For all inquiries about the Smashed PH program, visit www.facebook.com/PETAPlus/, email [email protected], or contact Julia at 0999-995-7962. To explore the project online, visit https://online.smashedproject.org/. – PLANS