AHS and Grande Prairie Regional College team up to convince kids to be tobacco-free
November 18, 2010
GRANDE PRAIRIE – First-year nursing students from Grande Prairie Regional College start visiting local schools this month to teach children about the risks of tobacco use.
Now in its eighth year, Teaming Up for Tobacco-Free Kids aims to positively influence children, Grades 5 to 6, before some begin experimenting with tobacco or using tobacco regularly. The initiative is part of an ongoing partnership program between the college and Alberta Health Services (AHS).
"This is a win-win situation," says Noella Richarde, a tobacco reduction counsellor with AHS Addiction and Mental Health. "On one hand, hundreds of children are receiving information about the harmful effects of tobacco. On the other hand, nursing students are acquiring teaching skills in health care and fulfilling a portion of their curriculum. It would be impossible to reach so many children without this important partnership."
About 4,000 children have received tobacco prevention information since the program started.
Between the fall and spring, 32 nursing students will visit 32 schools in such communities as Valleyview, Rycroft, Hythe, Beaverlodge, Wembley, Savanna, Grovedale and Grande Prairie.
AHS provides the nursing students with lesson plans and other teaching resources.
"Teaming up for Tobacco-Free Kids has been an exciting part of our nursing students' learning since 2003," says Jean Burris, clinical placement co-ordinator for nursing education at the college. "Nursing students see first-hand the importance and impact of health promotion."
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than 3.7 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
- 30 -