ABOUT RAISING THE BAR
RAISING THE BAR is a campaign aimed to elevate the experience of Marin youth during youth-centered events by changing the social norms around adult alcohol consumption and substances use in the event environments. While the campaign does not intend to eliminate adult alcohol use from our community, it does encourage adults to model enjoyment and entertainment in alcohol- and substance-free environments at youth-oriented events.
RAISING THE BAR was developed in 2017 by Marin Healthy Youth Partnerships in collaboration with Marin Prevention Network. The program was created in response to California County Health Rankings finding that Marin’s excessive drinking rate was higher than 80% of the State’s 58 counties. In addition, Marin underage substance use is consistently higher than other California counties and research shows that parents play a significant role in their children’s decisions regarding alcohol.
Currently over 70 public and private schools encompassing 8 school districts and 21 youth organizations and recreation departments have partnered with Raising the Bar. More than 300 field signs and banners in both English and Spanish are posted throughout the county. With the RAISING THE BAR Toolkit, these Member Organizations encourage parents to be positive role models by not drinking or using substances when participating in youth events.
RTB moved beyond Marin County, gaining national recognition. In August 2023, Medfield Outreach in Massachusetts adopted RTB for their school district. Additionally, Raising the Bar was highlighted in the documentary film, Screenagers Under the Influence.
SUPPORT FOR RAISING THE BAR
“This partnership is essential for us as adults to present as positive role models for our youth. Our young people receive a lot of messaging about alcohol being the solution to the stress or as the only means to have fun. It is vital that we display behavior that counters that messaging and demonstrates healthy means of managing stress and enjoying ourselves.”
- Dr. Tara Taupier, TUHSD Superintendent
“There’s no requirement or reason for alcohol to be included/available at any event, private or public. Fun and socializing can happen without drinking being part of them, and that’s what we want to model for our kids. So as a community, why not establish a baseline that is all kid-centered.”
- Katie Rice, Marin County District 2 Supervisor
"I really appreciate your timely email about (Raising the Bar)... I remember my mom cold-stopped smoking after one viewing of the commercial (around 1960) of a little boy copying his dad - dressing like he did, going fishing with him, casting his line, etc and then reaching for a cigarette after his dad did. Kids naturally follow the path of their parents ... I was just so glad to see this message from all of you as it carries the message of care and love for our kids at this most vulnerable time in their lives, perhaps - not really kids any more but far from being grown up…"
- Marin Catholic Parent
 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/california/2016/rankings/marin/county/outcomes/5/snapshot
 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA). (2017, September 20). Talk. They Hear You; About Underage Drinking. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking/about