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National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sheryl Massaro

NIDA and Scholastic Continue to Reach Tweens with Information about Methamphetamine and Other Drugs

Through a continuing partnership, NIDA and SCHOLASTIC, the global children’s publishing and media company, will distribute information on the health effects of methamphetamine to nearly 2 million middle and high school students and their teachers. Methamphetamine’s devastating effects on the brain and body, as well as the environmental and social impact of its manufacture, will be covered in an article in the fall issues for the 2005-6 school year in Scholastic Classroom Magazines’ Junior Scholastic®, Science World®, CHOICES®, SCOPE®, ACTION®, and UPFRONT®. Additional articles for the 2005-6 school year will cover inhalants, prescription drugs, and drugs that may be encountered in social settings.

NIDA and SCHOLASTIC are now in the fourth year of an aggressive outreach to middle school and early high school students and teachers with the Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body series for use in the classroom. Through new in-school educational materials, Heads Up teaches students about the effects of drugs on the developing teen brain and body, decision making, and science.

“Beyond meeting teachers’ needs for engaging curricula that also fulfill national science education objectives,” notes NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow, “these materials hold the promise of sparking student interest in the biological sciences as a possible career choice.”

An online teacher survey shows that more than 90 percent of respondents found the Heads Up articles extremely or very valuable. Almost all (94 percent) of teacher surveyed believe it is important to integrate substance abuse information into their curriculum.

Most of the Heads Up materials are article-inserts included in the six magazines above. These in-school publications provide age-appropriate news for kids and supplemental teaching materials for teachers. The articles are written in collaboration with NIDA program staff and researchers and feature research-based facts on the medical consequences of drugs, examples of relevant scientific studies, and lists of important resources for students and teachers to seek further information or help.

“The Heads Up partnership with NIDA continues to provide millions of teachers nationwide with relevant materials that open important discussions in the classroom,” said Shelley White, Editorial Director of Scholastic Marketing Partners, a division of Scholastic. “Scholastic Classroom Magazines offer teens real-life personal stories that teach important information about drug abuse in a current, meaningful way.”

In addition to the article-inserts for the 2005-6 school year, a popular teaching poster produced in Heads Up’s first year featuring the medical consequences of drugs on various parts of the body will be produced in English on one side and Spanish on the other. This will be distributed free in December 2005 to several thousand resource contacts in schools nationwide that have at least 25 percent Hispanic/Latino students. In addition, multiple free copies will be available from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) in December 2005.

Free compilations of both student and teacher inserts from Years 1 and 2 will also be available from NCADI in December 2005, and compilations from Year 3 will be available in late spring 2006.

For more information on these and other NIDA science education initiatives, visit the NIDA Web site at www.backtoschool.drugabuse.gov and www.teens.drugabuse.gov.

For more information specific to Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body, visit www.scholastic.com/headsup.

NIDA, as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health, supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. For more than 30 years, the Institute has carried out a broad range of programs to ensure comprehensive research as well as quick distribution of research findings to policymakers and education, prevention, and treatment programs. In the areas of science education and information, NIDA has pioneered innovative presentations of neuroscience information targeted to middle-, high-, and also grade-schoolers. More information about NIDA can be found at www.drugabuse.gov.

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries, and television networks; and the Company's Internet Site, www.scholastic.com.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

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