By: Bonnie Davis Guy
“Shady Valley 4th grade student, Katie Kriley wins second place overall in the Tar Wars Program statewide poster contest,” says program director, Courtney Wampler.
Wampler has been traveling to all the elementary schools in the county since last August presenting the Tar Wars curriculum to fourth and fifth grades. Toward the end of the curriculum, students had the opportunity to participate in a school wide poster contest. Each of the five county elementary schools had a winner which then moved on to a county wide competition voted on in January by members of the Action Coalition. The county winner could then move forward and participate in the statewide poster contest.
Tar Wars is part of a grant program in Johnson County since 2014 by the Tennessee Tobacco Settlement Program. Taking anti-tobacco curriculums into the schools is a major part of the grant. Tar Wars curriculum which was developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is for fourth to fifth grade elementary students. According to the AAFP website for Tar Wars, it describes the program as a curriculum to teach kids about the short term, image based consequences of tobacco u and also the cost associated with using tobacco. Finally, they discuss the advertising techniques used by the tobacco industry to market specifically to the youth.
This year’s Tar Wars Program poster contest had around 15 poster entries between all five schools. Again, each school had a winner. Because two of Johnson Counties Schools (Shady and Laurel) have split classes some third graders did submit posters and won on a school and local level. However, due to the program rules only fourth or fifth graders were eligible to move on to the state competition. In fact, a third grader’s poster was chosen by the Action Coalition.
According to Wampler, she then had to choose a poster from qualifying entries. “Many of our entries were equally as good as the winners, it made it difficult to choose” she said.
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