Anti-tobacco Contest Reduces Spring Break Boredom
Be Smart—Dont Start! promotes preventive health
Tulsa, OK — With spring break around the corner, Oklahoma students may have extra time on their hands. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, more than half of youth are at risk for substance abuse if they are often stressed, bored or have too much spending money. While reducing possible spring break boredom, the annual statewide Be Smart—Don't Start! storyboard contest also educates elementary students about the dangers of tobacco. The winning contestants will share their tobacco-free message with their peers through a commercial. Free contest materials can be requested online, and entries must be postmarked by March 26.
The Be Smart—Don't Start! contest has grown in participation and awareness each year since 2004, reaching thousands of students statewide. Through the contest, Oklahoma elementary students (grades K-5) have the opportunity to write and draw a 30-second commercial to teach other kids and adults about the dangers of tobacco. Parents or teachers can receive educational anti-tobacco materials to aide in the creation of storyboards.
Judges will choose a grand-prize winner and first-, second- and third-place winners in three grade categories (K-1st, 2nd-3rd and 4th-5th) in both eastern and central/western Oklahoma. The grand-prize winners will win $100 and have their creations animated into 30-second commercials featuring their own artwork and voices. The commercials will be distributed to television stations, posted on multiple Web sites and promoted across the state. First-, second- and third-place winners will receive $75, $50 and $25 respectively. All winners, along with their parents and teachers, will be invited to an awards celebration at the State Capitol. Plus, teachers of the winning students will receive a gift certificate for classroom supplies.
Sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the American Lung Association of the Central States serving Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Be Smart—Don’t Start! contest is open to students in public, private and home-based elementary classrooms. Entries must be postmarked by March 26. Teachers who would like more information or would like their classrooms to participate can call (866) 876-4376 or visit the Tobacco Prevention page.