Students with Dawson County Junior High School teacher Kim Dutton’s eight grade media and technology class recently partnered with Dawson County Family Connection to create posters with positive youth prevention messages.
As students mature into their teen years, they are often easily influenced by their peers, according to Nancy Chambers, Family Connection's Underage Drinking Prevention Coordinator. She partnered with Dutton to help spread the message about the harmful effects of using nicotine and tobacco products by having students create posters with a computer.
“It's amazing to see what creative ways students come up with when given the opportunity to develop and deliver important messages,” Chambers said. “These messages will have a higher likelihood of getting through—and changing attitudes and behaviors—when they are coming from their peers. It is truly impactful. We'd like to thank Mrs. Kim Dutton and her class for partnering with us and adding a new twist to our media campaign."
Dutton's students designed posters with game themes to draw other students' attention to their message.
"Marketing firms and advertisers are increasingly targeting teens and tweens with colorful ads, games and context that negatively influence students,” Dutton said. “We wanted to do something to counteract the commercial culture and get students' attention. Currently, vaping and smoking are hot topics for this age group, so it was easy for our students to use marketing strategies to reach their peers. They did a great job.”
The posters are on display throughout the junior high and are a daily reminder for students to avoid nicotine and vaping.