Did you know that young people aged 11-15 are more likely than any other age group to experiment with tobacco?

People who try smoking generally do it for the first time as a preteen or young teenager…and that means early intervention and proper education about the dangers of smoking are imperative.

Right Decisions Right Now: Free anti-smoking resources for teachers & parents

Right Decisions, Right Now is a youth tobacco prevention program created by Lifetime Learning Systems. Its slogan is Be Tobacco-free and its goal is to persuade young people to stay away from smoking.

With an evidence-based educational program at its core, the organization provides teachers, parents, and other community members with resources to help educate middle school students not only about the dangers of using tobacco, but also help them make smart decisions in the face of peer pressure.

The program has been nationally-tested and was found to both decrease the number of smokers in test schools (grades 8-9) and lower the number of anticipated smokers in middle school students.

Lesson Plans & Activities 

The lesson resources are categorized according to grade levels (5th/6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th/9th grade). Each set has 4 components:

  • Set of surveys to help assess risk and consequences (Keeping Healthy)
  • Activities for interpersonal practice (How Friends Fit In)
  • Activities for intrapersonal skills (How I Am)
  • Self-assessment unit quiz

I particularly like that the activities are interactive and digital:

One cool thing to note about the surveys–the program offers a Survey Data Collector which aggregates students’ anonymous responses so you can gauge how students’ beliefs are shifting.

The series of surveys and activities are designed to work together and help students:

  • explore their own beliefs about tobacco use
  • understand the dangers of smoking
  • learn how to resist peer pressure
  • boost their self-esteem
  • practice decision-making.

All of the resources (including posters and SMART Board activities) can be downloaded from the Right Decisions, Right Now website, along with detailed lesson plans that are easy to integrate into any curriculum.

Parent Resources

There are also resources for parents and community members who want to do their part in the campaign against tobacco use. Background information is provided on the whats and why of tobacco use among youth, along with information sheets on nicotine products including e-cigarettes. There’s even a parent pledge. 

There’s also a series of videos that parents can watch with their pre-teen kids at home to guide them through conversations about smoking. The videos tell parents when to stop and follow the prompts on the screen.

Enter the Right Decisions Right Now Contest

The organization wants to thank middle schoolers and their teachers for their efforts to be tobacco-free with a classroom contest. Four teachers will win a $500 Staples gift card for classroom supplies for the 2017-2018 school year. 

The contest is open to residents of the US who are currently employed full-time or part-time as an educator in a public or private K-12 school. Entries will be accepted until June 30, 2017.

Find out how to enter the contest, or start exploring the free activities and resources now.

Disclosure: Right Decisions Right Now has compensated me for spreading the word about their free resources. I only blog about materials that I like and would recommend to other teachers.

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