2009-03-05 / Church News

FCMC Bombards Schools With Anti-Tobacco Messages

A student reacts to one of the many effects of smoking. A student reacts to one of the many effects of smoking. Over the past few weeks, in honor of the Great American Spit Out, The Fulton County Medical Center Tobacco Program has bombarded the three school districts with an anti-tobacco message. Community health educator Lori Bubb coordinated two instrumental programs involving elementary school children as well as teens.

Project X, a school-assembly anti-tobacco program geared toward fourth- through seventhgrade students, was introduced into the schools February 18 and 19. Project X is a "Matrix" style presentation encouraging student interaction; the program provides information on the harmful and powerful drug, tobacco. An interactive style is utilized so that large groups of students can give their ideas and opinions, and help discover the truth about tobacco products. The program was put into action by special agent Goodman from "The Agency." Using various decision-making exercises, students assisted the special agent in keeping the school tobaccofree. The technology and delivery of the program kept students on the edge of their seats. For more information regarding Project X, visit its Web site at www.projectxtobaccofree. com

Project X coordinator, Doug Watson, known as special agent Noah Goodman, grew up in Greencastle and graduated from Clarion University. He now works for the Clarion University Health Science Education Center.

This week, area teens from the three local school districts met to learn about the Ameri- can Lung Association's TATU program. This program develops skills for teens to teach younger children about tobacco use and become advocates for a tobacco free community. As teens learn about the consequences of tobacco use, they reinforce their decision to remain tobacco-free.

The teens went through an in-depth day of hands-on activities to prepare them to teach in the elementary classes about the harmful effects of tobacco use. The day began with teens being taught basic tobacco facts by Department of Health tobacco consultant Bonnie Sowers, RN, followed by each school's presentation on activities for use in the younger classrooms as an educational tool. Activities included making jars of tar and phlegm to represent the amount produced from the harmful effects of smoking. Each district also gave small presentations to the group that could be used in the classrooms. The presentations included:

BB activity - to represent the number of deaths from tobacco use.

Pig lung demonstration - represents the damage to lungs from smoking

Puppet show - skit to show how to avoid the peer pressure to use tobacco

Straw activity - simulates how difficult it is to breathe with COPD or emphysema

What's in a cigarette - the more than 4,000 toxic ingredients in a cigarette.

To show their support of the tobacco program, they also participated in a fun activity, directed by Southern Fulton art teacher Carolyn Mottern. They created their own tie-dye T-shirts to wear when they speak to the youths.

For more information regarding our youth programs or any other community benefit program, please contact Lori Bubb at 717-485-6853.

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