Power 2002, a group of 12 students at St. Jude Thaddeus School, have spent the school year informing students of the dangers of tobacco use and encouraging them to remain tobacco-free. The group receive a $500 grant to help them complete projects during the school year. The grant, YAHOU (Young Adults Helping Others Understand) funding, was provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program.
The group sponsored a student poster contest and was able to give prizes to classroom winners because of the grant. The posters were later displayed in a store window at the Havre Holiday Village Shopping Center. Projects to help give students information about the hazards of tobacco included a PowerPoint presentation prepared and presented by the students, and announcements composed by the Power 2002 students and made over the school's intercom. Young adults in the school's tobacco-free group were able to reach younger students in the school, as well as their peers, with the message to be tobacco-free.
The Power 2002 group choose "Educate and Celebrate" as its project name. Last week was celebration time. The culmination activities were twofold.
The group wanted to emphasize its willingness to help the younger students to be tobacco-free in the project named "We will give the shirts off our backs to help you remain tobacco-free." The group gave the students in grades K-5 the opportunity to sign a tobacco-free pledge poster. Student were able to deposit their names into a drawing to win an official Power 2000 T-shirt belonging to a Power group member. The drawings were made during an all-school assembly held on May 20.
Younger students can now be seen in the school's hallways proudly wearing the official Power 2002 T-shirt with the tobacco-free message on the back.
Secondly, the Power group sponsored a tobacco-free evening activity for the older students in grades 6-8. Fifty students participated in a music, bunko, pizza party, celebrating the fact that the year was a success for the Power 2002 group and celebrating the fact that young adults can take a stand and make a difference.