Road to Reality is an event targeting 5th through 9th graders and their parents to raise awareness of the physical, emotional and legal consequences of underage use of alcohol and/or use of drugs and the possible consequences of those choices. Students with their parents will come to the Woodson Center for Business and Economics at Blackburn College and be greeted by a number of resource tables providing information, parenting help, and brain and spinal injury prevention. After viewing the various resources they will then become observers down the “Road to Reality”.
The purpose of this activity is to recognize that children today are visual and interactive learners, that parents are the greatest influence on their behavior, and to impact their belief systems long before they find themselves in a situation that requires them to make life altering decisions.
The students and their parents will receive a map of the “Road” and travel in small groups (20-30 at a time) and led by a facilitator along the “Road” (the “Road” will consist of hallways and classrooms). High school students, Blackburn College Students, community organizations and emergency personnel participate by role-playing scenes along the “Road.” The program begins with a teenage party (with pretend alcohol) portraying how underage use of alcohol can cause teens make poor choices. The parents and students continue on by viewing a prevention “commercial” (Simple Plan’s Music Video “Untitled”) addressing the importance of making good choices. The next scene is the “accident scene”, a result of the teen’s poor choice to drive while under the influence (complete with donated car, emergency personnel, jaws of life, and law enforcement). The scene following the accident is an emergency room with Nursing staff and equipment. The group then travels on to the “courthouse” and the sentencing of the teen driver for DUI and involuntary manslaughter by a Macoupin County Judge (complete with “family members”) and a bailiff. The next “scene” is a short presentation by the Macoupin County Coroner’s office on the difficulties of talking to families in the event of an accident like the one they just saw.
The students and parents will then fill out an evaluation form and receive a baggie with goodies and an important prevention message. The students may also have their “map” stamped for proof of attendance should their school be offering extra credit for attendance.
At this time the kids and parents can browse the resource tables, have a snack, and participate in the obstacle course with the vision-impaired glasses if they haven’t done so already, or they can leave.