With the holidays upon us, and the seasonal temptation to have a few celebratory drinks, students are sending home a message about the dangers of impaired driving – drawn right onto paper bags at B.C. liquor stores that will be given to customers.

Students at more than 16 schools in the district decorated 3,000 paper bags with messages to remind liquor store customers not to drink and drive, as part of the Think of Me bag decorating campaign by ICBC and the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB). Participating schools included:

Green Timbers ElementaryHjorth Road ElementaryClayton Heights SecondaryElgin Park SecondaryFleetwood Park SecondaryFrank Hurt SecondaryFraser Heights SecondaryGrandview Heights SecondaryGuildford Park SecondaryJohnston Heights SecondaryNorth Surrey SecondaryÉcole Panorama Ridge SecondaryPrincess Margaret SecondaryÉcole Salish SecondarySullivan Heights SecondaryTamanawis SecondaryCommunity Schools Partnership

“Having our students decorate these bags serves as such a powerful reminder of the impact that drinking and driving can have on our community, and our children,” said Laurie Larsen, Chair of the Surrey Board of Education. “We are so proud to be a partner in this campaign this holiday season.

“It’s a great opportunity to engage and educate our community and our students on road safety, and we are thrilled to see so many of our schools participate.”

Joy Kim, an art teacher at Clayton Heights Secondary, said the campaign resonated with her students, who appreciated the opportunity to discuss being responsible around the holidays.

“I teach juniors and seniors, and it’s a conversation piece that I think is really important for the students,” said Kim. “They see their parents drinking too, and as my students are approaching adulthood, I wanted them to reflect one what that means during the holidays.

“We didn’t want to make it seem like all drinking is bad – we know that families are doing it, often with each other or in some positive activity, and in these moments of celebration, we want them to remember the importance of making good choices that are best for everyone.”

While the holidays may be a time for spiked eggnog and warm apple cider, Kim said the campaign reminds people there are non-alcoholic options available too.

“One of their suggestions was that you don’t have to just have alcoholic drinks at your parties,” she said. “Maybe also offer juice or tea or sparkling soda as a host to better accommodate your guests so they don’t have to drink.”

The bags will be distributed at B.C. Liquor Stores starting Tuesday, Dec. 20, and Kim said her students are looking forward to their designs spreading a message of responsibility this season.

“It’s a great initiative and we think it’s fabulous that the district is participating this year,” said Kim. “We’re happy to be a part of it.”

This story has been reproduced with permission from School District 36 (Surrey). The original posting can be found here.