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At Aspen Country Day School, we seek to foster the health and well-being of all students. As part of the Middle School health curriculum in Advisory, students recently learned about the hazards of vaping and role-played to practice their "refusal skills." Also, parents had presentation and Q&A on campus. Here's a recap:
Vaping: Reality v. Perception - Everybody's Not Doing It.
By Brenda Stockdale, Head of Middle School
As part of our advisory program and focus on social, emotional, and physical well being, Courtney Dunn, Prevention Specialist from the Aspen School District, visited campus to share information about vaping and e-cigarettes with our Eighth Grade students. Her 90-minute presentation consisted of information about vaping and e-cigarettes, including the myths surrounding this subject. She told the students, "We want you to make healthy decisions based on accurate information."
Courtney's slide show, "Vaping, what about it?," contained information about the chemicals in e-cigarettes, companies' efforts to market to teens, and statistics about who's using e-cigarettes. She cited that 15% of eighth graders in Colorado have tried vaping; our students thought it was a much higher percentage than that. "The perception is 'everyone's doing it' and it's not harmful," Courtney said. Both are myths. A small percentage of middle school students are doing it, and it is harmful.
Following the information portion of the afternoon, Courtney reviewed coping and refusal skills with students. In small groups, they discussed practices that have worked for them and those they might try in a particular situation. We concluded with role playing different refusal skills. Advisors continued the conversation the following day, and we look forward to building upon these topics in the coming months.
To further promote our partnership with parents, on Thursday, January 10 Risa Turetsky, MPH, FNP-C, PHN, Health Promotion Program Administrator and Tobacco Specialist with Pitkin County Public Health, met with parents to discuss the harmful effects of vaping and how parents can increase their awareness and how to talk to their kids about vaping. Her slideshow, "Families, Vaping, and Juuls," met with parents to discuss the harmful effects of vaping, how parents can increase their awareness, and how they can talk to their kids about vaping.
We are grateful to these health care professionals who donated their time to educate our community about this important health issue. We look forward to continuing the conversation with our Eighth Graders, and sharing age appropriate information and skill-building with the rest of our Middle School students. Parents, we hope you will partner with us in continuing to educate your children and keep the lines of communication open.