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|Project Title: ||Sweeten the Air at GHS|
|School Year: ||2007|
|School - District:||Greenfield High - Greenfield|
|Contact Name:||Lisa Moore|
|Contact Phone:||(413) 772-1350|
|Grades:||9, 10, 11, 12|
|Community Need:||Community Development, Education, Health/Nutrition, Human Needs, Public Safety|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
“Sweeten the Air” began as a tobacco research unit in sophomore health class. During class discussions, many students found that smoking affected a profound number of people and felt that more awareness was needed. Brainstorming led to many projects including a memorial/honorary wall in the school, a smoking/second hand smoke media blitz, a Mexican dinner fundraiser to help with medical expenses for a local lung cancer patient, and a magnet giveaway educational campaign. Students felt so empowered by the experience that in looking for more tobacco education projects, the core students wrote a Medical Foundation mini grant and recruited others from GHS to participate in the Department of Public Health’s “Kick Butts Day”, which included a lobby exhibit, t-shirt design contest, informational banner project, learning games with prizes for participants, and a restroom campaign. They helped one man and his family directly by raising over $500 for medical expenses, and 500 students and their families by raising awareness. Students learned not only facts and statistics about the effects of tobacco use, but also the human cost, and how to make a difference.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
This project was aimed at decreasing smoking in the community.
|Service Component: |
The students created a memorial/honorary wall in the school, organized a smoking/second hand smoke media blitz, held a Mexican dinner fundraiser to help with medical expenses for a local lung cancer patient, and organized a magnet giveaway educational campaign.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
PreK–12 Standard 10 TOBACCO, ALCOHOL & OTHER SUBSTANCE USE/ABUSE PREVENTION
Students will acquire the knowledge and skills to be competent in making health-enhancing decisions regarding the use of medications and avoidance of substances, and in communicating about substance use/abuse prevention for healthier homes, schools, and communities.
Students conducted research regarding the ingredients in cigarettes and their connection to a host of illnesses. Students throroughly investigated diseases linked to tobacco smoke including etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis for survival. Students were given a unit test on their knowledge of the shared material. From that point, students were graded on their participation in the planning and implementation of their chosen project. Information and reflection questions were included in the final exam.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Students brainstormed and webbed information and ideas to come up with their own projects. After a “pitch meeting” with the teacher, students ran their own projects with guidance from the teacher. They also participated in conference calls with other schools working on projects.
|Student Reflection Component: |
On “Kick Butts Day”, 2 students with a video camera were roving reporters, talking with students and faculty about tobacco use and its effects. All students had the opportunity to view the video and discuss. In addition, open response questions on the exam gave a chance to reflect on the experience. Students were surprised by the effect they could have on others, and at the same time sobered by how much ignorance exists.
|Community Partners Involved: |
Students worked with the Community Coalition for Teens Tobacco Prevention Committee, meeting with parties in the community interested in elevating awareness. Although our projects at GHS were our own, our students had the opportunity to share with other groups in our area. 2 representatives from CCT trained 30 students in social norms marketing practices, which were used in our media campaigns.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
Our board meeting with CCT served as a celebration (an earned opportunity for growth), and we had a kickoff party with a freshman health class who paired up with us to help on “Kick Butts Day. Other than the initial press release, the project did not receive press (see challenges).
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
The overwhelming student response to our project exemplified the impact student effort had on others. Post surveys indicated that although behaviors probably wouldn’t change over night, they had made students and parents more aware of the issue, and they had educated themselves to be better consumers and care takers.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
Lack of media coverage kept our message from spreading as far as we had wished it would go. Our school TV station participated which was wonderful, but we had hoped the impact would be felt in the larger community a bit more. It has strengthened our resolve to be more diligent and determined in contacting our local press.
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.