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#DYK: Our School is Now Tobacco-Free

Posted on: November 19, 2018
Mrs. Flickinger with the Tobacco Free Sign.

Students lead education on tobacco policy

Last spring, Taylor High School students successfully advocated for the Three Rivers School Board to make the district 100% tobacco-free. Now they are educating people about the new policy and teaching middle school students about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

The students are seniors in Nancy Flickinger’s Teaching Professions Academy (TPA). Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) and PreventionFIRST! have been working with Nancy and her TPA students for the past few years as part of a tobacco prevention grant from the Ohio Department of Health. The class expanded its focus this year to include alcohol and other drugs after the district received a mini-grant from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department.

“Last year’s group did the tobacco policy and got it passed,” explained Dominique Walker, health educator with HCPH. “With this year’s group, we’ve been trying to get them to truly understand what the policy is and how they can convey that message. They are doing a good job of it.”

The students conducted research and decided to create a brochure about the new tobacco policy. They distributed it to parents at the homecoming football game. “We felt like education was going to be a big part of making people understand that we have this standard now,” Nancy said. “Because you know no matter how much you hang signs and all that kind of stuff, people don’t get it. This way, the message is getting out there that we’re a 100 percent tobacco-free campus.”

Nancy Flickinger (left) and Dominique Walker (HCPH) with signage promoting Three Rivers Schools’ new 100% tobacco-free policy.

Nancy’s class also developed lesson plans to teach middle school students about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. They are in the process of leading three sessions about tobacco products and vaping for fifth- and sixth-graders, and three sessions on drugs and alcohol for seventh- and eighth-graders. The lessons culminate in a poster contest that is going on now.

Next, the TPA students will share what they’ve been doing with parents and the community through the district’s e-newsletter. After this, they will report back to the school board. “The students will let them know we are continuing on with this project that started last year, and that we’ve actually expanded it,” Nancy said. “We’re doing it because we have a commitment to the community.”

You can read more about the impact Taylor High School students have made when it comes to tobacco in their community here and hereThree Rivers is a WeTHRIVE!℠ school district.

Read the entire We THRIVE! article HERE