Located in Clayton County, Iowa, Clayton County Community Collaboration Council (5C) coalition and the local community produced a video focused on underage drinking titled “Party Your Life Away” – A Mannequin Challenge.
“5C brainstormed ideas at the 2017 Winter Planning Retreat about how to encourage community engagement and involvement surrounding the issue of adults providing a location for underage drinking as well as the alcohol for those events,” said Tracy Yelden, 5C Secretary. “As part of a comprehensive approach to address those two local conditions, the coalition developed a plan and filmed the scenes. This project involved six different communities, fifteen partners or organizations from the community (area schools, emergency responses, and businesses) to contribute volunteer hours and materials to produce a quality video to share on the impacts of youth decisions involving alcohol and driving.”
Within 24 hours after the film’s release, local TV and print media covered the story, including interviews of those involved and how the story impacted them. Thanks to social media, the link to the video spread across the nation! The video has been viewed over a million times and viewers report the video will be shared at school assemblies, driver’s education, classrooms, and other youth groups.
Locally, three school districts held an assembly to share and discuss the video. The coalition’s plan is to continue to incorporate the video with other strategies to address local conditions and change community norms and behaviors.
The 5C Coalition serves a population of just under 18,000 in Clayton County, which is predominantly rural, covers five school districts, and has seven major towns. The area is a mix of farmland, industrial, timber, and rivers where people can relax in remote cabins or cruise down rivers on kayaks to houseboats.
“Brainstorm ideas to involve your community to address an issue that utilizes their skills and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to be creative and think outside the box,” said Yelden. “We developed this idea from a video a coalition member found from a group in Kentucky on heroin. We adapted it to our needs and what we wanted to address, and the coalition and community ran with the project. This project has helped our coalition become more visible and recognized in the community, which will help long-term to address other areas the coalition is working to address and change.”