Reach Out Now

Welcome to Reach Out Now, a program developed for teachers and families to help prevent underage alcohol use. As an educator, you know it is not too early to start communicating with your fifth and sixth graders about the risks of underage alcohol use. This skills-based teaching guide is designed to give students the facts about alcohol, so they can make smart and healthy choices in the future.

Developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention in conjunction with Scholastic Inc., the program provides students with the scientific facts about the effects of alcohol on the brain and the body. You’ll find lessons and worksheets that build the scientific literacy and critical-thinking skills necessary to make informed decisions. Thank you for sharing this important program with your students.

Getting Started


Click here for ideas on implementing Reach Out Now in your classroom, including the:

  • Poster (PDF) to engage students in discussions about underage alcohol use.
  • Lessons and worksheets to build science skills, as well as reading comprehension, critical thinking, graphs, and persuasive writing skills.
  • Worksheets to use individually or in sequence with each other.
  • Bonus worksheets to build upon and reinforce information in the lessons.
  • Family Pages to extend the discussion outside of the classroom.

Lesson Plans

Pre- and Post-Assessment: What Do You Know About Alcohol?
Assess your students' knowledge about the effects of alcohol on the brain and the body with the "What Do You Know About Alcohol" assessment printable.

Lesson 1: Alcohol and Your Brain
Students will learn about the functions of different parts of the brain and how alcohol affects those functions.

Lesson 2: Alcohol and Your Body
Students will learn about the harmful effects of alcohol on different parts of the body.

Lesson 3: Making Smart Choices
Students will consider why young people may be tempted to use alcohol. They will use the facts they have learned about the effects of alcohol on the brain and the body to determine healthy responses to scenarios in which alcohol is involved.

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