The most visible Foundation project is the Missouri Tar Wars program with a tobacco-free message for fourth and fifth-grade students. Tar Wars® is the only youth tobacco education program offered at this time by a medical specialty organization in the United States and reaches approximately 500,000 students annually. The program is implemented in classrooms across the US and abroad by committed volunteer presenters such as family physicians, residents, medical students, school nurses, other healthcare professionals, educators, and community members.
The mission of Tar Wars® is to educate students about being tobacco-free, provide them with the tools to make positive decisions regarding their health and promote personal responsibility for their well-being. Tar Wars can accomplish its mission by utilizing a community-based approach to mobilize family physicians, educators, and other healthcare professionals.
The goals of the program are to:
- Educate and motivate students to be tobacco-free
- Mobilize healthcare professionals to become proactive in their community’s health education
- Encourage community involvement in support of the Tar Wars program
The following information is for Presenters:
On the day of the presentation
- Provide letters to teachers and/or school nurses
- Students complete a pre-and-post survey
- Give a presentation (linked above)
- Make sure each student has a Parent Information Handout to take home. We have provided copies in English. You may want to download the Spanish version here if you have many Spanish-speaking families.
Following the presentation
- Complete your Tar Wars Presenter Evaluation and return with students’ pre and post-presentation surveys.
The Missouri Academy commends your school’s ongoing commitment to youth tobacco prevention. Thank you for participating in Tar Wars® and helping kids to be tobacco-free!
The Tar Wars statewide poster contest has been canceled. We encourage schools to hold their own competition and recognize their school’s winners. Poster materials will remain available upon submission of the Request for Tar Wars Materials form to email@example.com.
For questions or to get your school involved, contact the Family Health Foundation of Missouri or call (573) 635-0830.