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DOVER, N.H. — Twelve-year-olds Megan Merrigan and Eleanor Gorman spoke with passersby as they stood in the sun Wednesday on a downtown sidewalk. Megan held up a poster board with five empty beverage containers, as Eleanor outlined her concern that their colorful packaging seemed to market alcohol in a way that would appeal to kids.

One beer can’s design, from Concord Craft Brewing Co. in New Hampshire, drew stylistic cues from the 2003 animated feature film “Finding Nemo.” Another, from Downeast Cider in Massachusetts, invoked the sugar-high red and blue hues of frozen “Slushie” drinks. Others advertised fruity flavors in the hard seltzers that have recently boomed in popularity.

Megan and Eleanor’s face-to-face public awareness efforts were part of a much broader campaign. About 40 other middle and high schoolers joined them on the sidewalk in an event organized by Dover Youth to Youth, an after-school drug prevention program with ties to the city’s police department. They waved protest signs, chanted about “Big Alcohol,” and even held a press conference in which kids fielded questions.

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