Thursday, March 24, 2011

Van Buren Students hold Kick Butts Day Activities

On Wednesday, March 23rd the Van Buren JEL/YLC members held a number of activities that encouraged smokers to kick the deadly habit of tobacco use. This is a day for smokers nationwide to unite and quit smoking. The youth encourage smokers to quit for a lifetime by starting with just one day.

No Smoking Signs- Four Van Buren JEL members visited all of the businesses in Keosauqua to ensure they had the adequate signage to be in compliance with the Iowa Smoke Free Air Act. If a business did not have a sign they posted one for them at their request. They handed out nine signs to businesses in need.

Red Ribbons, Poster and Announcements- The Harmony JEL members hung red ribbons on their school campus to make students aware of Kick Butts Day, they also hung posters in the school with tobacco facts and information for quitting smoking. An announcement was read the morning of the event so all students knew the dangers of tobacco use and the importance of quitting.

Doorknob Facts- Harmony JEL members designed doorknob facts that they distributed around Bonaparte and Farmington. The messages provided a fact about the dangers of tobacco use, information for quitting and a pencil with Quitline Iowa information. The students distributed 100 doorknob facts between the two towns, you may have seen one on your door knob!
Cigarette Butt Cleanup- Both school districts held cigarette butt clean-up projects on their (tobacco-free) campuses. This is the 4th year for this project at Van Buren and each year they have found fewer cigarette butts on the grounds. This is in part due to the great work of the janitorial staff to post Tobacco-Free Campus signs throughout the grounds. There were very few cigarettes found on the Harmony school grounds as well. Students in both districts will be presenting their findings to the school board members in April.

Buttons, Posters, Games and Announcements- The Middle School JEL members spent the morning hanging up posters around the school and making JEL buttons to hand out to all students in the school. Two of the JEL members read a morning announcement about the day, reminded students to make JEL buttons again at lunch and complete the tobacco games to win prizes! Almost all students in the middle school had buttons by the end of the day reminding them of the importance to be tobacco-free.

Videos, Every 72 Seconds, Hats and Text Message Chains- The Van Buren High School JEL members produced videos to share with their school on Kick Butts day via the channel 1 TV system. All students in the school received a message in the morning about the dangers of tobacco use and Kick Butts Day. Throughout the day 38 students were asked to wear “72” buttons. These buttons represent the 38 people who will die during one class period. Someone dies every 72 seconds from tobacco related causes. During 8th hour these students were pulled from class and a video was shown to detail the event for the entire school. This event had a significant impact on students because they could visually see how tobacco can affect lives. All students in the school were able to participate in a hat day to “put a cap on tobacco” they were allowed to wear hats to school on Wednesday. Prizes were given for the most creative hat. The JEL members were responsible for a text message chain via their cell phones that went out during the day, JEL members sent this to their friends and asked them to pass it along!

All of these events reminded students, staff and community members the dangers of tobacco use and encouraged them to use Kick Butts Day as a day they choose to quit using tobacco. For more information about the JEL/YLC program or their initiatives check them out on the web or you may contact us at 319-293-6412.

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