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Student project reveals dangers of smoking

by Sharlene Irete

Jessica Adams and Jackie Edwardson chose Scarselli Elementary School to present a program to complete a community service project Jan. 13. The eighth-grade students from Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School’s leadership class used demonstration materials from the Partnership of Community Resources.

“We gave a presentation to the Scarselli students about smoking and why it’s bad,” said Jessica. “We did demos of what your lungs would look like if you smoked a pack a day for 20 years and if you didn’t smoke. We showed what was in cigarettes – moth balls, fiberglass, gas, rubbing alcohol and ammonia.”



“Kids breathed with small straws to demonstrate what it feel like to have emphysema,” said Jackie. “We have to do 15 hours of presentations for 20 percent of our leadership grade.”

Mena Dedmon teaches the elective leadership class at Pau-Wa-Lu.



“The class promotes community service,” said Dedmon. “Besides the individual projects, they do committee work. The goal of each class is to get students involved by doing things like sponsoring dances and hosting motivational speakers. They want to make Pau-Wa-Lu a better place.

“The focus of this year’s class is a campus beautification project. The students have proposed 3-5 different projects – planting trees, repainting the lines on the sports field and some gardening projects,” she said.

The students’ projects teach them that they can make a difference.

“They have to do what they propose from start to finish,” said Dedmon. “They have to get the press involved and actually do the work. The kids tend to be optimistic. They shoot for the moon and usually get close. They can make the community realize that teenagers aren’t all bad.”