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The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula, which serve almost 6,000 children in Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Gloucester, Mathews and York County, were recently awarded $180,000 from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth.
The money, which is part of a three-year grant award, will be used to educate members of the 13 clubs located on the Peninsula about the dangers associated with tobacco use.
Through the Positive Action program, club professionals will teach children and teens about the dangers of using tobacco in its many forms. The lessons will be presented in a “fun and interactive way that not only addresses tobacco prevention, but drug and alcohol use as well,” according to a recent news release.
Positive Action is an ongoing program, with nearly 230 kids between the ages of 6 and 18 participating in it during the 2015 summer session. Of those participants, 97 percent successfully graduated the program.
Pre-tests and post-tests will be administered at each club to determine the effectiveness of the program.
The Positive Action program falls under the umbrella of the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Healthy Lifestyles Initiative. Money from the grant will also be used to emphasize other Healthy Lifestyles Initiative goals, such as increasing members’ daily physical activity, encouraging healthy eating habits and advising kids to avoid risky behaviors.