Friday Night Live expands youth-led initiative

The California Friday Night Live Partnership gives mini-grants to 45 Friday Night Live and Club Live chapters throughout the state, expand education of underage drinking

TULARE COUNTY – As Friday Night Live continues their fight against underage drinking, the organization is providing mini grants to 45 chapters throughout the state to keep alcohol out of the reach of kids. 

The California Friday Night Live Partnership (CFNLP) received a $270,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to utilize strategies through youth-led initiatives to reduce underage drinking. FNL members plan to educate and activate communities to take a stand against providing alcohol to minors and incorporate outreach to parents and local retailers as part of their campaign. Each applicant received a mini grant to support the implementation of a year long program. 

“This isn’t just about encouraging youth to change their communities,” Lynne Goodwin, CFNLP Administrator said, “But [it is] about giving them the skills, knowledge, support and opportunities that they need to make a real, lasting impact around issues that are important to them – experiences that change their lives as well.” 

The funds will be used to provide $3,000 mini-grants to 45 Friday Night Live (FNL) and Club Live (CL) chapters throughout California, to implement one of two comprehensive, year-long Alcohol Merchant Education and Positive Social Norms Campaigns. These campaigns were launched in October and will utilize environmental prevention strategies that help reduce underage drinking and related costs by changing the environments that make youth alcohol use seem normal and appealing. 

Young people in FNL will use proven environmental strategies to address the conditions and social norms that promote underage drinking and youth access to alcohol. They are targeting four areas of prevention: social norms, access, messages and policies. 

For social norms, students will research accepted behaviors surrounding underage drinking and uplift positive youth behaviors. They will also identify where young people access alcohol and work to limit that access. Students will also identify where youth encounter messages about underage drinking and develop youth-created prevention messages. Not only will they look to educate students, but they will provide community education on current laws regarding alcohol and minors.

The partnership will also use funds to train hundreds of youth members and adult allies on research, prevention strategies, public speaking, the creation of public service announcements and leadership skills throughout the campaign. 

The CFNLP is an organization of the Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) that provides statewide service and support to 51 California counties to implement Friday Night Live programs. 

“We are proud to support the California Friday Night Live Partnership as they work to provide opportunities for leadership, skill development, community engagement and meaningful relationship building for the young people of California,” Tim Hire, Superintendent of Schools for the Tulare County Office of Education, said. 

The grant program runs from Oct. 1, 2022, to Sep. 30, 2023. It is committed to reducing injuries and fatalities related to underage alcohol consumption. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 1 2020 Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking

“We are really happy to be able to put this money in the hands of young people to change the problems that really impact them the most,” Goodwin said. 

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