Letter to the Editor

Adults have to be role models

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Editor's Note: This is the fourth of four letters from a writing campaign engineered by the Northview High School Advanced Health Class.

To the Editor:

I am in Advanced Health at Northview High School and it has been brought to our attention that tobacco use is an issue at the Clay Youth Football League (CYFL).

The CYFL provides an awesome opportunity for children to learn leadership skills, respect and self-confidence.

The coaches are there with patience, teaching children a sport they will enjoy all throughout their lives.

Children are easy to influence during adolescence. That's their most vulnerable and impressionable age so they need good role models in teachers, coaches and family.

All of the adults at the CYFL serve as role models to our youth. Alan Green, MD, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP) stated that, "One of the most powerful ways that children learn is through imitation.

Role models are most powerful if they are someone that the child knows and spends time with."

Statistics from the Youth Tobacco Surveillance 2000 declare that 80-90 percent of smokers start before they are 18-years-old.

This statement needs to be reversed.

As a class, we will provide tobacco free signs for the campus.

Our goal is for the Clay Youth Football League to go tobacco-free for the health and wellbeing of our county's children.

Shelby French,

Northview High School,

Advanced Health Class