CCCMS Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) recently received a grant of $1,250 that the group plans to usef or the Piotique celebration.

CCCMS Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) recently received a grant of $1,250 from the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition to implement youth activities targeted for tobacco use prevention in Clay County.

The group plans to use the majority of the funds for the Piotique celebration. Plan on seeing a float in the parade from the group. Also, the group will have a booth with fun activities, information, and giveaways.

The 36 CCCMS students have been divided into committees and have planned the events for the weekend. The whole process will be recorded and there will be an iMovie made about their activity so far this year.

CCCMS SWAT is part of TASK, a statewide youth movement against tobacco. Tobacco use remains a leading public health issue in Kansas. The 2007 Kansas Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 21 percent of Kansas high school students smoke, which has not decreased since 2002. The mini-grant project goal is to encourage creativity in youth-led projects that focus on activities that protect themselves and their peers from becoming addicted to cigarettes and tobacco products.

CCCMS SWAT formed in 2008 with 28 students attending the TASK regional training. The group did several tobacco awareness activities last year including speaking at Clay Counts and town hall meetings, and a city council meeting where they officially declared a "Kick Butts Day" in November.

They also traveled to Wakefield School to do activities and discuss the dangers of Tobacco Use with the fourth- and fifth-grade classes.

This year the goal of the group is to reinforce the fact that being tobacco free is the popular choice among teens and that the decisions made early in life affect our futures.