Bethlehem Centers of Nashville
Bethlehem Centers of Nashville (BCN), a national mission agency of the United Methodist
Church, provides education, direction, and service that lead to self-reliance for
all participants and clients. The BCN Too Smart To Start team in Nashville provides
a variety of comprehensive education and community outreach activities focusing
on prevention for children, their parents, and the community.
The Too Smart To Start team focuses its efforts on 9- to 13-year-olds in area schools
and youth-serving organizations through interactive classroom activities where Too
Smart To Start materials and resources as well as Project Alcohol Free: Reach for
the Stars—a science-based alcohol prevention curriculum that teaches youth
the skills and strategies needed to resist pressures and establish anti-drug norms—are
used. The team also provides youth with the opportunity to participate in poster
campaign art projects, open houses, Olympic Day Fest for youth campers, and other
positive activities, while using the Too Smart To Start messages and materials to
heighten youth awareness about underage alcohol use. To improve communication and
increase interaction between youth and their parents, the team has developed a Too
Smart To Start information packet that includes information on the harms of underage
alcohol use and communication methods that parents can use when talking with their
children about underage alcohol use.
The team reaches out to the community and increases public disapproval of underage
alcohol use. Team members participate in various community awareness events throughout
the year, such as family days, health fairs, local sporting activities, and symposiums,
where messages and materials about underage alcohol use prevention and the Too Smart
To Start initiative are shared. To promote their efforts, the team also has partnered
with media such as area newspapers, radio stations, and community access television
in the Nashville area. Dissemination channels used by the team include billboards,
art/poster exhibitions at the Nashville Adventure Science Center and the First Center
for Visual Arts, Too Smart To Start advertisements posted at area businesses, and
literature generated by BCN.
Nashville Prevention Partnership
The Nashville Prevention Partnership (NPP) is a community anti-drug coalition consisting
of more than 300 organizations and individuals in Nashville. With the Alcohol &
Drug Council of Middle Tennessee serving as the lead agency, NPP strives to bring
together agencies, organizations, and individuals together to reduce and prevent
the problems associated with substance abuse. The Too Smart To Start team coordinates
activities and events with schools, communities, faith-based organizations, and
service providers to reach out to 9- to 13-year-olds, their parents, and the community
in participating service areas in Nashville.
In partnership with local schools and youth-serving organizations, the NPP Too Smart
To Start team works to increase youth awareness of the harms of underage alcohol
use. Teachers, school staff, and program staff are trained on how to conduct a series
of lessons that address the risks of underage drinking in a classroom setting. Part
of the lesson series involves Too Smart To Start’s Ready, Set, Listen!
board game, which was created to encourage communication between parents and their
children. In addition, the team, along with interested community stakeholders, designed
and planned an event to be held at each participating middle school to allow parents
to engage in meaningful activities with their children. The community will take
ownership of the events by creating a plan that they feel will help create more
awareness of the harms of underage alcohol use.
In the broader Nashville area, the NPP team enlists the aid of the media in its
efforts to promote community awareness of the harms of underage alcohol use and
to encourage parents to make alcohol less available to their children. Media outlets
include newspapers, radio, billboards, and television. In addition, artwork and
billboards that students created are displayed at the Nashville Public Library.