Archive for the ‘Tar Wars’ Category

Tar Wars Educates Over 2200 Banks County Students in May

Assistant Superintendent Joy Edwards and Holly Koochel, school social worker, coordinated with our team to bring the Tar Wars tobacco, nicotine, and vaping prevention program to elementary, middle, and high school students in Banks County. 

Tar Wars presenters GAFP medical student members, Dominique Munroe and Najeeb Siddiq, presented the program at Banks County Middle School and High School. The team reached over 1500 6th-12th graders and providing much needed information on the negative effects of tobacco, nicotine and vape product use as well as cessation resources.

In addition, Tar Wars curriculum kits were delivered to 700 elementary students at Banks County Elementary School.  The Tar Wars program will be presented by Melissa Hicks to help elementary students learn the facts about tobacco and nicotine use. The goal is to stop children and teens before they consider smoking or vaping.

We look forward to a continued partnership with Banks County Schools as we strive to make the next generation smoke and vape free!

Want to bring the Tar Wars program to kids in your community?

There are two ways that you can partner with Tar Wars:

  1. Become a Tar Wars presenter!  Program Q & A and Presenter Training Sessions are available every Wednesday and Thursday from 12:15-12:45 pm through the months of May and June.  Click HERE to sign up.
  2. Become a Tar Wars champion in your community! Are you connected to your area principal, school board and/or school nurses and health educators?  Would you love to see students in your local school systems receive the Tar Wars program?  We would love that, too.  Please connect us with your area school leaders so that we can spread our anti-tobacco and anti-vaping message to students across our state.  Please email Abbey Carr at acarr@gafp.org for resources and information on how to get connected.

Tar Wars Community Leader Spotlight- Therese McGuire

Therese McGuire
Program Specialist, Health & Physical Education
Georgia Department of Education

What is the mission of your organization?

Offering a holistic education to each and every child in our state.

What is your primary role and how does it fit into your organizational mission?

My role is to support health education and physical education.  A big part of that support is to provide access to Georgia-owned and Georgia-grown standards, as well as teacher access to high-quality instructional resources and support.  It is rewarding to support health and physical education as such an important piece of the mission toward a holistic education.

What is a favorite story/quote that you have related to your job?

There is not just one specific situation.  I love then when someone asks me what I do and then goes on to share a story of a great teacher or classroom experience in their physical education or health education class.

 

Are there any trends that you are seeing with students in Georgia, either positive and/or negative?

Students have so much access to information and that continues to grow.  It is important with all the available information sources for students it is important that information is reliable.  Our new health education standards address that need.

 

How do anti-tobacco and vaping resources help with your mission?

They provide valuable resources for teachers.  Ultimately quality resources contribute to students with the skills to lead healthy lives.  The resources really do support students as they make choices to avoid health risks.

 

Based on your experience, what are some ways that community organizations can work together to improve the overall health of students in Georgia?

There are many ways.  Health covers so many topics.  Organizations that provide aligned resources such as the Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Tar Wars program have such a positive impact and broad reach.  When the offered resources include teacher and student information that is even better. No two classrooms, schools or school systems are exactly the same so the working together piece is essential.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

I love the Sound of Music every time I see it.

If someone were to visit your community, what are some “can’t miss” restaurants and other things to see and do?

I would say don’t miss out on Georgia outdoors.  Our state parks, lakes, hiking and biking trails are amazing.

 

Outside of work, what hobbies do you enjoy?

I enjoy time with family and friends, walking, swimming, and golf.  This spring I am going to give vegetable gardening a try.

Want to bring the Tar Wars program to students in your community?  Reach out to Abbey Carr at acarr@gafp.org to find out how to plug in!

Tar Wars Community Leader Spotlight: Lauren McClendon

Lauren McClendon, Tobacco Education Coordinator

Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition

www.nwgacancer.org

 

Q: What is the mission of your organization?

A: Reducing the burden of cancer for Northwest Georgians by providing prevention and education programs, improving access to early detection and screenings, and promoting quality and excellence in cancer care

Q. What is your primary role and how does it fit into the organizational mission?

A. My primary role is related to dissemination of tobacco education materials. This takes place through educational presentations including Tar Wars to students of all ages, as well as providing smoking cessation classes to the general population. Lung cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer and has a stronghold on the Northwest Georgia area. Since the use of tobacco products greatly increases one’s risk for lung cancer, my job provides ways to help individuals quit using these products before it is too late, or before they even start in the first place.

Q. What is a favorite story/quote that you have related to your job?

A. My first time doing Tar Wars was at a very small, very rural elementary school. My first time doing Tar Wars was at a very small, very rural elementary school. After I finished a young boy came up to me and said “Miss, I am NEVER EVER, EVER smoking, and I’m gonna make everyone I know not smoke too!!!” He was so excited about the material that it made me realize what a positive impact my position could have.

Q. Are there any trends that you are seeing in your community, either positive and/or negative?

A. We are seeing a downtrend in the use of tobacco products, which is definitely positive! However, after COVID it has been more difficult to get people to sign up for in-person cessation classes. I know how helpful these can be to the success of someone’s cessation journey, so I hope moving forward we can get back into the swing of things.

Q. How do the Tar Wars resources help you with your mission?

A. I could not do my job without Tar Wars! It is the main resource I use to speak with elementary school students. I love how interactive the presentation is, and the students seem to really enjoy the crossword puzzles and getting to ask questions.

Q. Based on your experience, what are some ways that community organizations can work together to improve the overall health of students in Georgia?

A. Right now, we are the only Cancer Coalition that has tobacco education as a part of their mission. I would love to see roles like mine expanded to a larger population. I would also love to see Tar Wars in as many schools as possible, and I think a great way to do that is to have organizations gain a better understanding of the burden that tobacco products are placing on their communities and place an emphasis on spreading that knowledge.

Q. What is your favorite movie of all time?

A. The Lego Movie! I know that sounds like I’m 5, but it has such a positive message about thinking outside the box (not to mention the songs are catchy!).

Q. If someone were to visit your community, what are some “can’t miss” restaurants and other things to see and do?

A. Harvest Moon Cafe and Aventine are absolutely the best restaurants in Rome, and Honeymoon Bakery has been featured on Food Network multiple times for their sweet treats! You also can’t pass up the opportunity to visit the beautiful campus of Berry College, where many movies have been filmed.

Q. Outside of work, what hobbies do you enjoy?

A. I love to hike the trails around town, read, and travel! I am getting married soon and am excited that my honeymoon will be my first out of country travel since before COVID.

Q. What is the best concert you’ve ever been attended?

A. Shania Twain! I was 10 years old and knew the words to every single song!

Want to bring Tar Wars to students in your community?  Reach out to Abbey Carr at acarr@gafp.org to find out how to plug in.

Tar Wars Educates Students at Jeff Davis High School

On  March 18, Medical College of Georgia student Samantha Summers, and trained Tar Wars presenter, spoke to 125 high school students at Jeff Davis High School in Hazlehurst.  The presentation was coordinated by Cindy Corbitt, family and consumer sciences instructor at JDHS.

MCG student Samantha Summers at Jeff Davis High School

Students learned of the health, behavioral and social impacts of using tobacco, nicotine and vaping products and were also provided with cessation information and support.  Many thanks to Ms. Corbitt for working with our team to coordinate this valuable presentation and for helping to educate students with this important message.

Want to bring the Tar Wars program to kids in your community?

There are 2 ways that you can help:

  1. Become a Tar Wars presenter!  Program Q & A and Presenter Training Sessions are available every Wednesday and Thursday from 12:15-12:45 pm in April.   Typically, Tar Wars is for 4th  and 5th grades, but GHFA/ GAFP can work with schools desiring anti-tobacco/ vaping education for children K-12. Click HERE to sign up.
  2. Become a Tar Wars champion in your community! Are you connected to your area principal, school board and/or school nurses and health educators?  Would you love to see students in your local school systems receive the Tar Wars program?  We would love that, too!  Please connect us with your area school leaders so that we can spread our anti-tobacco and anti-vaping message to students across our state.  Please email Abbey Carr at acarr@gafp.org for resources and information on how to get connected.

Southeast Georgia Strike Force Tar Wars Launched in Savannah

Statewide Manager, Tar Wars Education Abbey Carr and PE and Health Program Coordinator Ashely Tremble-Scott organize kits for school distribution at the SCCPSS Central Office.

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance is raising an initial fundraising goal of $250,000 in the Savannah/Statesboro (Southeast) Georgia Strike Force.  While we are over half-way to our fundraising goal, we have already launched our efforts to divert children from ever taking their first puff of any tobacco or vaping products.

At the beginning of March, 123 Tar Wars classroom kits were hand-delivered to the Savannah Chatham County Public School System Board of Education offices to be distributed to 30 schools across the district.  By the end of March, 3,690 4th and 5th grade students will participate in our tobacco, nicotine and vape prevention program given by over 30 Tar Wars trained physical education and health educators throughout the school system.

All funds raised for our Strike Forces go directly back into the community.  Please click here to make a donation to the capital campaign and to a specific Strike Force.

Want to bring the Tar Wars program to kids in your community?

There are two ways to partner with Tar Wars:

  1. Become a Tar Wars presenter!  Program Q & A and Presenter Training Sessions are available every Wednesday and Thursday from 12:15-12:45 pm through the months of March and April.  Click HERE to sign up.
  2. Become a Tar Wars champion in your community! Are you connected to your area principal, school board and/or school nurses and health educators?  Would you love to see students in your local school systems receive the Tar Wars program?  We would love that, too!  Please connect us with your area school leaders so that we can spread our anti-tobacco and anti-vaping message to students across our state.  Email Abbey Carr at acarr@gafp.org for resources and information on how to get connected.

Become A Tar Wars Champion In Your Community

There are 2 ways that you can help us stop our Georgia youth from smoking or vaping before they ever even start:

  1. Become a Tar Wars presenter!  Program Q & A and Presenter Training Sessions are available every Wednesday and Thursday from 12:15-12:45 pm through the months of March and April.  Click HERE to sign up!
  2. Become a Tar Wars champion in your community! Are you connected to your area principal, school board and/or school nurses and health educators?  Would you love to see students in your local school systems receive the Tar Wars program?  We would love that, too!  Please connect us with your area school leaders so that we can spread our anti-tobacco and anti-vaping message to students across our state.  Please email Abbey Carr at acarr@gafp.org for resources and information on how to get connected!