Lord Baltimore Elementary students learn to 'Just Say No'

The fourth- and fifth-graders of Lord Baltimore were treated to a special presentation on April 17, of “Tar Wars” a nationwide program that started in Colorado, designed to educate America’s youth about the dangers of smoking.

Dr. Cedrick Barnes of Milford orchestrated the program that incorporated reading and math skills, as well as hands-on activities that inform students the importance of being tobacco-free.

“I think the kids really enjoyed the presentation,” said Lord Baltimore counselor Rhonda Lynch. “They used unique experiments and it was very informative.”

Consequences on health and side affects were explained in great detail in the presentation. At one point, students breathed through a straw to simulate the difficulty and restrictions smokers experience when their lungs are harmed from smoke. Although the Tar Wars program has been spreading across the country to countless schools, this was the first time it had been implemented in this district.

Barnes, president of the Delaware Academy of Family Physicians (DAFP), said he was astonished when he learned of the dangers that face children today.

Teaching them early is the most logical way to tackle the situation, he said.

“We need to educate them before they’re teens. That’s when peer pressure is the greatest.”

He was glad to be able to exhibit the presentation, although he said more needs to be done.

“Delaware is trying to make an effort to educate our youth, but they have been very unsuccessful in the past,” he said. “The state needs educators and volunteers. Anyone can help educate children out there.”

He plans to return next year for another presentation that plans to initiate an anti-tobacco poster contest for children.

For more information about the Tar Wars program or the poster contest, visit www.tarwars.org online.