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Kline Wins State Competition

By Staff | Jun 10, 2009

Akayla Kline, a student at Paden City Elementary School, proudly displays her Tar Wars poster about tobacco prevention that won the statewide competition. She and her family will now travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the Tar Wars National Conference.

Paden City Elementary School student Akayla Kline has won the West Virginia Tar Wars poster contest.

In March some of the students at PCES chose topics and sketched ideas for the state Tar Wars Contest. This contest is an annual opportunity for students to express their opinions about being tobacco-free. Kline was chosen to continue work on her idea and represent PCES. She worked for several weeks on her poster and it was sent to the state competition. In May, Kline found out that her poster won the state competition and would be forwarded on to the National Tar Wars competition. She and her family will be traveling to Washington this summer to attend the annual Tar Wars National Conference, sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians. This event, which is held each year in the summer, celebrates youth, creativity, and being tobacco-free and is jam-packed with fun, excitement, and learning opportunities for the entire family.

The Tar Wars National Conference concludes with a festive awards ceremony, during which the national winners are announced. Placements include special recognition, honorable mention for fifth through 10th place, and first through fourth place. All state winners in attendance receive a prize packet that includes a certificate of appreciation, a ribbon, a color copy of their poster, and a special gift. The first place winner receives a grand prize trip to Disney World.

The mission of Tar Wars is to educate students about being tobacco free, provide them with the tools to make positive decisions regarding their health, and promote personal responsibility for their well being. By utilizing a community-based approach to mobilize family physicians, educators, and other health care professionals, Tar Wars can accomplish its mission.

Each day more than 3,500 children in the United States try their first cigarette. Another 1,000 become regular, daily smokers. About a third of all youth smokers will die prematurely from a disease caused by smoking. Tar Wars was founded to respond to this growing, yet preventable, health crisis. Since being established in 1988, Tar Wars has reached more than 8 million children with its tobacco-free message.For more information and past winner information go to www.tarwars.org/online/tarwars/home.html.