Friday Night Live (FNL) programs across California have been raising the profile of the work they do in their communities this April. Today marks the first-ever FNL Advocacy Day, dedicated to the celebration and awareness of FNL programs and its efforts to improve communities through positive change, influencing important issues facing young people.
FNL was established in 1984 to address underage impaired driving by promoting youth lifestyles free of alcohol and other drugs. The program now operates in 47 California counties, having nearly 600 chapters in schools, community centers, juvenile halls, and housing projects. FNL has grown to include age-appropriate Club Live (CL) programs for middle school and elementary school.
Recent school closures have meant a reduction in school social connections for students, but FNL and CL programs are continuing—and thriving. Of the 59 Sacramento County middle and high schools served, most are continuing to meet virtually. Maintaining a positive connection is vital for the mental and emotional well-being of students. Engagement and involvement in clubs, teams, and service opportunities provide students with a well-rounded experience. Significant attention has been given to physical distancing.
“I believe—and the evidence shows—that the types of strategies and activities Friday Night Live members are actively engaged in are leading to positive outcomes in our community,” said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon.
Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Prevention & Early Intervention Department staff members support FNL. The Alcohol and Drug Prevention & Treatment Services division of the Sacramento County Department of Behavioral Health Services provides the primary source of funding for the program. SCOE FNL also works with the following partners:
- California FNL Partnership
- District/school personnel
- Chapter advisors
- County government
- Law enforcement agencies
- Community-based organizations
- Parents, students, and volunteers
In the last three weeks, SCOE FNL has created 54 virtual FNL and CL chapters for school districts throughout Sacramento County. The virtual chapters meet weekly, and students are expressing their appreciation.
“I like Club Live because it gives us an opportunity to spread awareness about safety to other students,” said Kaitlyn N., a student at Toby Johnson Middle School.
“I love FNL because it’s helped me get over my fear of public speaking. We are hardworking students that do projects to make a huge difference, and we have fun,” said Kameron D., an Inderkum High School student.
“Friday Night Live has been the best thing to happen to my life,” said Inderkum High student Kristina A. “It has provided me with so many connections and opportunities. I am eternally grateful for FNL and everyone in it!”
Learn more about the statewide efforts of the program by visiting the California Friday Night Live website.