Katie Boyd

Daily Point of Light # 3359 Dec 19, 2006

Why "Take 5"- An Underage Anti-Smoking Campaign, and why now? Tobacco prevention programs do not reach every student, and Take 5, an original program by  Katie Boyd , takes the message to a more personal level where students are not afraid to participate and ask questions.

The mission of Take 5 is to enable all students to resist tobacco usage, thus, equipping them with the necessary information to avoid the peer pressures of ever beginning to use tobacco.

As an advocate of a tobacco-free lifestyle since the age of twelve and through her research on underage smoking, Katie Boyd determined that fifth grade students are the most neglected from tobacco-free media. Take 5 – An Underage Anti-Smoking Campaign is a program she created in June 2003 to address this critical social issue. Take 5 Challenges fifth grade students to take five minutes and learn the dangers of tobacco and to focus on the ingredients of a healthy lifestyle. This program equips children with the necessary information to resist tobacco usage and turn the negative peer pressure of experimenting with tobacco into positive peer pressure.

The 2005 goals for Take 5 were obtained by producing and distributing an original Take 5 Video to all schools in Alabama for use in fifth grade classrooms, distributing colored wristbands for Tobacco-Free Kids, organizing a Kick Butts Day event for youth in Hoover, Alabama, and representing DARE for Red Ribbon Week in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The primary goals for 2006 that have been accomplished include creating an innovative classroom competition to challenge students not to start smoking, implementing the Take 5 Challenge pilot mentoring program for fifth grade students challenging junior and senior students to avoid tobacco and make wise decisions, developing a t-shirt art design contest promoting Clean Indoor Air, and committing to work in partnership with the Alabama Department of Public Health promoting Clean Indoor Air statewide. Through the completion of these goals, Katie was recognized nationally by USA Today for her work with youth tobacco prevention.

Katie works tirelessly in the communities of Alabama for the health of our children. Future plans for Take 5 traveling through Alabama as state spokesperson for Department of Public Health-Clean Indoor Air Campaign, representing Tobacco Free Alabama, implementing statewide mentoring program in every city and county school system, offering national mentoring program for youth tobacco prevention to every board of education in all 50 states and partnering with the American heart Association and American Cancer Society for adult tobacco prevention.

Take 5 is an original program ready to address the nation as to the facts of underage smoking. Katie will not wait another year nor day to confront our youth about the dangers of tobacco. Katie Boyd is confident that her message is ready to go, ready to make a positive impact and ready to have a lifelong influence on our children, thus, securing a healthier nation for all of us.