MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a charitable organization which was founded in 1989 with a mission “to stop impaired driving and to support victims of this violent crime”. Our efforts are focused on five key areas: Victim Services; Youth Services; Public Policy; Public Awareness and Education; and the Advancement of Anti-Impaired Driving Technology.
Within our focus area of Youth Services, MADD Canada has been delivering our School Program for youth in grades 7 through 12 across Canada since 1994. Recognizing that youth are over-represented in the statistics related to death and injury related to impaired driving, MADD Canada delivers the program to up to 500,000 students annually in 2,100 schools across Canada, including up to 140 presentations in Alberta each year. The 45-minute video includes a fictional story and stories from real-life victims and survivors that demonstrate the devastating consequences that impaired driving can have on individuals, their families and friends. The presentation provides information about how students can keep themselves safe in risky situations and teaches youth alternative solutions to driving impaired from alcohol and/or drugs.
In 2020-2021, the program was adapted in response to COVID-19 to enable different formats of delivery of the program based on the school’s preference. Going forward, schools will continue to choose to participate in the traditional assembly format, a classroom format or via the online platform.
The program also includes an interactive audio drama in which the Facilitator reviews 3-4 scenarios in which the crash they just viewed within the video could have been prevented. This teaching tool uses interactive dialogue to educate youth about options available to them when they are faced with an impaired driving situation. In addition to the presentation itself, schools are provided with a leave-behind kit containing a comprehensive educators’ guide, youth resource manual, posters and classroom videos to encourage continued discussion.
In Canada, the average age of first cannabis use among grades 7-12 students is 14.2 years old, validating that the target group for the School Program is ideal for this messaging.
Funding provided for MADD Canada’s School Program will go towards the direct program costs of delivering presentations in the funder’s preferred areas in Alberta. Each presentation costs $1,000 to deliver and reaches up to 500 local youth with proven-effective safety messaging.