By Anna Skinner
To engage youth in tobacco prevention, Smoke Free Hamilton County will join forces with kids at Westfield Washington Schools and draw with sidewalk chalk around the city.
“Stacy London of Westfield Washington Township is on the Smoke Free Hamilton County committee, and we have been talking about ways to engage youth,” Program Coordinator Holly Wheeler said. “She came up with this idea that we do an event, and she suggested it be in conjunction with National Kick Butts day. It’s a national day to encourage youth to become involved and say this is a good day to quit smoking and educate youth.”
Tobacco users under the age of 18 are more likely to become lifelong users. Many Westfield schools and schools around the county will have students writing slogans on sidewalks and in school parking lots in chalk March 14.
“They will use slogans and decorate artistically to hit home the message of tobacco prevention and making this a fun community event,” Wheeler said.
Each school in the city will do its version of the event at different times throughout the day. Wheeler said some examples are schools incorporating the event into health or study hall classes or possibly a specific period or an after-school club.
“We’re really kind of leaving it open to the school or organization for whatever is most convenient to them,” she said. “We will continue that awareness building throughout the day.”
Westfield Middle School has more than 1,000 students participating. Organizations around the city are welcome to join the awareness efforts and should contact Wheeler at hwheeler_PHHC@gsnlive.org.
For more, visit kickbuttsday.org.