Monday, November 8, 2010

Van Buren High School JEL Members Have Been Busy!

VB High School JEL members have been active in a variety of activities since the start of the school year. They have participated in three events to bring awareness to the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. They include a Fall Festival Street Marketing event, a Hall or Horrors Display in their school and a Red Ribbon Week presentation for Elementary Students.

The members of the Van Buren High School JEL/YLC program provided information to the public at the Fall Festival in Keosauqua on Saturday October 9th. These members dressed in various costumes that represented the dangerous tactics used by Big Tobacco to get youth to use their products. Costumes included; a rat, an M&M, a toilet, a baby, and a cow. These characters were then placed throughout the down town area. Spectators were encouraged to visit each of the characters, listen to their fact and when they had collected all facts return to the main booth for a prize. All participants received a prize and a grand prize drawing was held for everyone who was involved. Congratulations to Abbie Johnson for winning the grand prize! The students had a great time with this activity and were able to educate the community and visitors about the dangers of the use of tobacco.

During the week of Halloween the students developed a display titled Hall of Horrors in a Hallway in their school. On the wall were photos of the top 10 serial killers in the world. Their photos listed their names and the number of people they had killed. Each day a few more killers were added to the wall. On the final day the students displayed the killer who was responsible for the most deaths; Big Tobacco. This entity is responsible for 1200 deaths A DAY more than any of the other serial killers listed. This was a great visual for the students in the school to see how dangerous the use of tobacco can be. JEL members received many comments on their wall during this week.

Finally for Red Ribbon Week members of the JEL program put together a presentation for elementary students about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. They used a spider web to talk about how using these substances can get you caught in a trap and sometimes it might be hard to see. At the end of their presentation the JEL members asked the students to sign a Pledge Wall that they would choose to be drug, alcohol and tobacco free! All students received a trick or treat bag reminding them of the presentation with the JEL members.

The high school JEL members have many other events planned throughout the year including activities for National Drug Facts Week November 8-11. Harmony and Van Buren Middle School JEL members are preparing events for the Great American Smokeout on November 18th, Alcohol Awareness Month in April and Kick Butts Day in the spring.

JEL (or Just Eliminate Lies) is a statewide program dedicated to fighting big tobacco across Iowa. Started in 2000, they have had many successes, including a dollar cigarette tax, and the statewide smoking ban. They hold many street marketing events and are actively involved with PSA's and preventing teen tobacco use.

For more information on the JEL program you may call the office at 319-293-6412.

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