Communications: News

Apple Valley Fifth-Grader Wins First Place in Statewide Anti-Smoking Poster Contest

Thursday, April 24, 2003  
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DJ Davids, a fifth-grader at Westview Elementary in Apple Valley, followed in the footsteps of former classmates by placing 1st in the 2003 Minnesota Tar Wars Poster Contest. His poster, which states ‘It Doesn’t Take Magic to Make Your Health Disappear in a Puff of Smoke’, shows two magicians, one of which is smoking a cigarette and the other waving a magic wand. Posters were judged on artistry, creativity, originality and their ability to communicate a clear POSITIVE message to remain tobacco-free.

Davids’ poster will now advance to the National Tar Wars Poster Contest to be held this July in Washington, D.C. His teacher, Mr. James Hipple, couldn’t be happier. "We are so excited here at Westview,” he said. "We’re popping at the seams.”

The Tar Wars program is taught by volunteer health care professionals, educators and community members who join together to address the issue of youth-targeted marketing and access to tobacco. These volunteers go into classrooms across the state and spread the Tar Wars message. The program is filled with fun and interactive lessons focusing on the long and short-term effects of tobacco use, image-based effects of tobacco use and reasons people use tobacco.

For his efforts, Davids will be awarded a family-pack of tickets to the Valleyfair Amusement Park in Shakopee, as well as a Tar Wars t-shirt .

The posters were judged by more than 200 family physicians during the Minnesota Academy of Family Physician’s Spring Refresher on April 10-11, 2003. Second place went to Elizabeth Schultz, also from Westview Elementary, and third place went to Anastatisa Ray of Bluff Creek Elementary in Chanhassen.

"Four first places, two seconds and one third in the years we’ve been participating. Something must be in the water at Westview,” said Mr. Hipple.

Tar Wars was developed in 1988 by the Hall of Life at the Denver Museum of Natural History and Doctors Ought to Care (DOC). It has been implemented in 50 states and is owned and operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Tar Wars was introduced in Minnesota during the 1996-97 school year, when it reached about 30 classrooms. Today, the program reaches close to 400,000 children nationally and internationally each year.

The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians is a professional association of approximately 3,000 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students organized to assist family physicians in providing quality medical care in Minnesota. The MAFP is the largest medical specialty organization in Minnesota and is a state chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, one of the largest national medical organizations in the United States with more than 103,000 members.

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