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Babylon Village kids battle underage drinking

The Corner of West Main Street and North

The Corner of West Main Street and North Carll Avenue in downtown Babylon Village. (Aug. 17, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

A group of Babylon Village schoolchildren will once again visit local businesses in a bid to reduce underage drinking.

Part of a strategy to make an “environmental” change in community attitudes toward drinking, 50 students are expected this afternoon to visit pizzerias and a deli to affix 2,000 stickers to pizza boxes bearing a message about the availability of alcohol-free social activities in the village.

The Babylon Community Coalition calls the yearly campaign Not on Your Life. Felice Niland, a social worker with a son in Babylon schools, formed the group in 2009 to combat underage drinking after seeing survey results suggesting troubling rates of alcohol use by Long Island youth.

A similar survey from the 2010-11 school year indicates more than 70 percent of Suffolk high school juniors and seniors have tried alcohol, and more than 30 percent have engaged in binge drinking in the previous two weeks.

Robin McKinnon, a social worker with the Babylon Community Coalition, said the pizza box ploy was designed to spark discussion of the issue in businesses and homes. The group will meet at Babylon High School at 3 p.m. before fanning out to pizzerias.

Photo: Downtown Babylon Village

 

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