Thursday, August 11, 2004


New school year prompts parents to discuss underage drinking; local company helps parents talk to children

With back-to-school season fast approaching, A&B Distributing is reminding parents that now is one of the best times to talk with their children about the consequences of underage drinking. According to the Roper Youth Report, 75 percent of adolescents (ages 13 – 17) say their parents are the No. 1 influence in their lives when it comes to making decisions about drinking.

To encourage family discussion on this issue, A&B Distributing is working with the community to distribute free of charge the Family Talk About Drinking program materials.

Family Talk: How to Talk to Your Kids About Drinking is a guidebook that encourages open, honest communication between parents and children. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the program.

“Many of us are parents, and just like other parents, we want our children to make smart choices, including not drinking when they’re underage,” said Joan Lunsford, consumer awareness and education coordinator, A&B Distributing Company. “We know that parents have the power when it comes to preventing underage drinking, and we are proud to celebrate 15 years of assisting parents in addressing this important topic through the Family Talk program.”

Positive parental influence is working with recent government and independent studies showing that underage drinking continues to decline. According to the Partnership for a Drug Free America, all measures of teen alcohol use declined significantly from 1998 to 2004. Likewise, high school senior drinking has declined 31 percent since 1982, according to the federally funded University of Michigan “Monitoring the Future” study. In addition, teen drunk-driving fatalities have declined 60 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Family Talk was developed by an advisory panel of education, family counseling, child psychology, and alcohol treatment professionals, and is available in five languages – English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. The program has been distributed by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce (JAYCEES), the National Council of Negro Women, the National Fatherhood Initiative and the Association of Junior Leagues International. Since 1990, more than 5.6 million copies of Family Talk have been distributed nationwide by Anheuser-Busch and its family of more than 600 wholesalers.

Anheuser-Busch also distributes a companion guidebook for parents of college-age students.

College Talk: A Parent’s Guide on Talking to Your College-Bound Student about Drinking was developed by an advisory panel of authorities in the fields of education, family therapy, student health and wellness, alcohol treatment and social norms marketing, and through conversations with parents and students.

Copies of the Family Talk and College Talk publications are available free at and or by calling 1-800-359-TALK.

Family Talk and College Talk are part of a portfolio of underage-drinking prevention programs implemented by Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers, including helping retailers check and verify I.D.s and sponsoring speakers who deliver a message of responsibility and respect for the law to middle, high school, and college students. The company’s newest program called “Prevent, Don’t Provide,” provides retailers with point of sale materials reminding parents that hosting parties with alcohol for minors is illegal and irresponsible.

More information on these and other Anheuser-Busch programs can be found at

Local students among summer graduates of Mississippi State

Nearly 800 Mississippi State students are candidates for degrees at the conclusion of the 2005 summer term.

Because the university doesn’t hold graduation exercises in August, summer graduates will be invited to participate Dec. 10 in the fall semester commencement program.

All bachelor’s degree students with exceptional scholastic averages and at least half the total required course hours earned at MSU are graduated with honors. Their specific levels of recognition and the minimum required averages for each, based on a 4.0 scale, include: summa cum laude, 3.80; magna cum laude, 3.60; and cum laude, 3.40.

The academic honors are recorded on the graduates’ diploma and permanent records, as well as the fall commencement program.

Degree candidates from Marshall County include: from Byhalia Mona L. Bland, MS degree in Arts & Sciences; from Holly Springs Darrius D. Collins, BS in Education; Lametrius T. Collins, MSIT in Education; Kewan D. Houston, BS in Education; and Valerie Snow, BS in Arts & Sciences.

Tiffany Collins graduates from U of M Sunday

Tiffany Nicole Collins will be graduating from The University of Memphis, at 3 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 14, at the Fedex Forum, Memphis, Tenn.

Tiffany is a candidate for the degree of bachelor of science in engineering technology with honors of magna cum laude. Tiffany is a 2001 graduate of Holly Springs High School.

She is the maternal granddaughter of Avant Jeffries and the late Clara Jeffries of Holly Springs. She is the paternal granddaughter of Bessie M. Collins and the late Bernice Collins Sr. of Holly Springs. She is the daughter of Carolyn Jeffries-Green of Atlanta, Georgia and Michael Collins of Arlington, Tennessee.

Tiffany is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her Honors and Organizations are Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Black Scholars Unlimited, Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarships (CSEMS), Golden Key Honor Society, National Society of Black Engineers, National Dean’s List, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

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