The Hillsboro Leo Club and Youth Team, working as a coalition, have been awarded a $1,500.00 grant from Teens Against Smoking in Kansas. TASK is leading the Kansas Youth movement against tobacco use with funds awarded to Kansas by the American Legacy Foundation. The purpose of the grant is to support this local youth coalition in their tobacco prevention efforts. As a result of receiving this award the local group is now a TASK Company.
The committee guiding the coalition through this project are the four high school senior members of the Leo Club: Amelia Brandt, Kaleb Borg, Trista Hanley and Jocelyn Kliewer. Tonja Wienck and Marvin and Elfrieda Funk serve as advisors to the group.
The first requirement of the TASK Company is to participate in a Youth Empowerment Survey. This was done by the group at a meeting Sunday, January 13, at the Hillsboro City Building. Attending to assist the local group were staff members from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Heather Fuller is the Outreach Coordinator for the Tobacco Use Prevention Program and Ashley Muir the Tobacco Prevention Program Epidemiologist.
Several members of the coalition will attend the STAR (Smokeless Teens are Rising) RALLY in Wichita February 11. This is another requirement of grant recipients. The rally raises awareness about tobacco control issues and encourages students to get involved in their communities.
One component of this project will be a community wide survey to determine tobacco use in local households. Results will be tabulated and published in the local newspapers. They also plan to sponsor an anti-tobacco use poster contest in one of the elementary school classes. Project completion date for this grant project is the end of March.