Money from the California Department of Education will help keep
East County students away from tobacco.
The $1.3 million grant will fund anti-tobacco programs for
middle- and high-school students in four East County school districts through
2017. The Grossmont Union High, Cajon Valley Union, Lemon Grove, and Santee
school districts are participating.
The programs will include prevention curriculum, tobacco
intervention and cessation programs, and youth-development programs. As part of
the programs, students in those districts will work to help develop
anti-tobacco posters and public service announcements.
Teaching students about the dangers of smoking is
particularly important now, as smoking rates flatten out after years of
declines and the use of e-cigarettes grows, said Jim Crittenden, a project
specialist with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE).
“It’s important to reach kids with clear and consistent
messages as often as possible,” he said.
Crittenden wrote the grant for the four districts. SDCOE
will continue to help manage the grant, which is part of the state’s Tobacco
Use Prevention Education program.
The program provides funding for programs in grades 6
through 12 through a competitive application process for tobacco-specific
student instruction, reinforcement activities, special events, and intervention
and cessation programs. It‘s paid for with money collected through cigarette