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Middle school students create brochures to be used for anti-tobacco campaigns

by Joyce Hollister, staff writer

As many as three and possibly more anti-tobacco brochures created by students at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School will be reproduced professionally to be used in Nevada and other states in the campaign against smoking by teens.

The brochures will be reproduced by the Alpine County Health Department’s Tobacco Education Program, whose director, Kristi Hamilton, said the PWLMS students’ brochures were better than any professional work she’s seen.

“I was very impressed,” Hamilton said. “They are just as creative and informative – and I think more creative – than some of the professional ones that I can purchase.”

The 9th-grade students are in Miki Trujillo’s health class.

Every year as part of their tobacco unit, students create brochures to show what they’ve learned and to get the message out to others about the consequences of choosing to smoke, Trujillo said.

Hamilton was a speaker in the class recently when she saw the students’ brochures and suggested that one or more of them could be printed and distributed.

“It was very exciting,” Trujillo said. “We thought it would be neat to be recognized.”

Hamilton visits classrooms in Douglas County because most students attend school in Douglas after the 8th grade. Alpine County’s school, Diamond Valley, is kindergarten through 8th grade.

The tobacco program is funded through California Prop. 99, which was passed in 1989 and places a 25-cent tax on each pack of cigarettes sold in California. The funds are used for education, medical care and research.

“In pursuit of our goal to raise public awareness that tobacco use is a major public health issue,” Hamilton said, “I use whatever media is available – primarily purchased brochures and videos.”

Hamilton said she is connected to a nationwide network of anti-tobacco educators who probably will be excited to use brochures created by students.

“Some of my colleagues in other counties and other states will be interested because they (the brochures) are very, very good.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see these brochures in Minnesota or Florida, where there are strong anti-tobacco coalitions.”

The best brochures will be on display at the Alpine County Fall Health Festival today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Turtle Rock Park, located between Woodfords and Markleeville, on Highway 89.

The fair will feature osteoporosis, skin cancer and vision screening, flu shots, cholesterol screening, blood pressure tests and health information such as that provided by Hamilton’s program.

Games for the kids, Indian tacos, a barbecue, healthy recipes and fall snacks are planned. The fair is sponsored by a number of local agencies, businesses, groups and the Washoe Tribe.