WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Hundreds of youth and their families will enjoy food, music, vendors, prizes, a photo booth and more when they participate in the Kick Butts Day Event, 4-7 p.m., March 15, at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Education Building.
National Kick Butts Day is a day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and live healthy lives at more than 1,000 events planned by independent organizers across the United States and around the world.
Free and open to the public, local events are organized by the Forsyth County Youth Tobacco Prevention Collaborative (FCYTPC). The collaborative is made up of representatives from United Way of Forsyth County, Insight Human Services, Novant Medical Center, Wake Forest Baptist Health, the Forsyth County Department of Public, YMCA and other youth-serving organizations.
Known as “No’bacco,” middle and high school students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools, have formed clubs to raise awareness about tobacco products and usage on their campus and in their communities. The student-led, adult-guided clubs focus on real life solutions to youth tobacco usage including products like smokeless tobacco, hookah, and e-cigs/vapes. The projects are designed and implemented by students through funding provided by a local community grant from the FCYTPC.
“By getting involved in Kick Butts Day and other activities, kids and teens can promote healthy living, encourage peers to be tobacco-free and support effective solutions to reduce youth tobacco use,” said Alana James, United Way of Forsyth County director of community-based collaborations.
Terri Moy is the Youth Tobacco Prevention coordinator housed at Insight Human Services. She says, “I look forward to Kick Butts Day every year. I can see firsthand the growth of these students, and their leadership abilities. This is an opportunity for them to showcase their clubs’ hard work and, of course, their school spirit.”
While each school’s club is independent, the student-leadership and adult sponsor of each school’s group meets on a regular basis to collaborate and exchange best practices with one another. Other activities proposed by each club include on-campus mass media campaigns, educational lunch and learn activities, guest speakers and media literacy discussions following movie screenings.
Nationally, great strides have been made in the fight against youth tobacco use. However, every day, more than 3,000 youth under age 18 try smoking for the first time and 700 youth become new regular, daily smokers.