Butt-kicking in Georgetown: Youths engage in anti-smoking campaign

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Kevin Chavez, Kaila Strand, Quive Vasquez, Sujedi Lopez, Brendon Joseph and Jamir Moore hold cigarette butts they collected during the Kick Butts Day cleanup on March 21. Overall, the children collected more than 2,000 cigarette butts in and around The Circle in Georgetown. (Special to the Sussex County Post/Kaneisha Trott).

 

GEORGETOWN – The heart of Georgetown recently experienced another youthful butt-kicking.

On Saturday, March 21, First State Community Action Agency joined forces with the Georgetown Boys & Girls Club and the American Lung Association for the 11th annual Kick Butts Day event in Georgetown.

Armed with trash bags and gloves, more than 50 youths scoured the grounds on and around The Circle, picking up discarded cigarette butts.

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Alaiyah Moore, MaNya Harris and Brendon Joseph display signs they created with anti- tobacco messages for Kick Butts Day. (Special to the Sussex County Post/Kaneisha Trott).

Overall, than 10 trash bags filled with cigarette butts were collected.

Youngsters then participated in anti-tobacco activities and prevention workshops at the Georgetown Boys & Girls Club. The activities were both fun and educational and youth learned about the harmful ingredients in tobacco products as well as their effects.

Youth also presented short skits and chants, designed t-shirts, and created slogans discouraging tobacco-use.

“The mission of Kick Butts Day is to ensure that the community, as well as the youth served by First State Community Action Agency and the Boys & Girls Club, understands the harmful effects of tobacco usage and its effect on the environment,” said Renee Hickman, Unit Director of the Georgetown Boys & Girls Club.

“Each year our goal is to provide an opportunity for more youth to gain knowledge concerning tobacco usage and come together with their peers to make a difference in their community,” Ms. Hickman said. “The impact it has had on our parents has been profound.  Each year we see a decrease in the amount of parents that report they are smoking. We have several parents who have joined the effort to promote Kick Butts Day who were previous smokers. The partnership with First State Community Action Agency and the willingness of the youth make this day a joy to help facilitate each year.”

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Diamond Sample displays her anti-tobacco message: Be Kool and don’t be a smoking Fool. (Special to the Sussex County Post/Kaneisha Trott).

FSCAA’s Sandi Hagans facilitated a parent focus group/workshop discussing the harmful effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke on the health of children and adults in the home. Volunteer associates from Kohl’s Store assisted with the clean-up and helped serve lunch.

The event closed with a group presentation where the youth displayed their creativity and presented their anti-tobacco messages to parents and peers.

The event was made possible through the Delaware Division of Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention Community Contract. Funding for the contract is provided by the Delaware Health fund and managed by the American Lung Association of Delaware.

Kick Butts Day 2015 is national campaign empowering youth to become leaders and advocates against youth tobacco use. For more about Kick Butts Day visit http://www.kickbuttsday.org/.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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