Maine’s 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool programs support tobacco prevention

March 19 marked the 19th annual Kick Butts Day, a nationwide celebration of youth leadership and activism combating tobacco use.

Over 1,400 events took place across the country in cooperation with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, including in Maine where 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool programs stepped-up to help youth educate their peers and communities about the harmfulness of tobacco and the industry’s marketing practices.

Students from the 21st CCLC Afterschool Program in RSU 20 hosted an anti-tobacco rally and educational activities while students at Searsport elementary & middle schools showcased an anti-tobacco video that they produced, held up individual signs at their rally and then finished things off with a flash mob dance around the advantages of not smoking.

21st CCLC Program Director, Ruth Southworth wrote and received a grant to fund this project, however, the event itself was planned entirely by a student-led advisory board. This is just one example of how afterschool programs throughout the state provide opportunities for youth to voice their opinions and stand up for their beliefs while providing engaging project-based learning experiences.

To see media coverage of the RSU 20 Kick Butts Day, click here.