An interactive group called ‘Butt Ugly’ performed at Normandeau School recently with help from high school students around Red Deer.
‘Butt Ugly’ is a group of actors that teach middle school students the dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco by interacting with students in groups after a quick theatre production. An award-winning anti-tobacco program that started in 1995, the program’s goal is to prevent youth tobacco use through peer education, role modeling and support.
The program is usually for Grade 6 students and is presented to all middle schools in Red Deer and Central Alberta.
Spokesperson Kate Adams said the troupe is always happy to teach the kids and hope after seeing the play that they make the right decisions in life.
“We talk a lot about the first offer and then they get to make up their minds before they get offered tobacco,” said Adams. “They also learn about the dangers of starting to smoke. We talk a lot about refusal skills and how to say no in the first place. Grade six students are really susceptible to peer pressure.”
Last week’s production was followed by an interactive ‘buzz’ session where the students talked about what they learned from the play as well as their encounters with tobacco use.
“I think it is really important to teach kids early,” said Adams.
“Red Deer and Central Alberta have been leaders in teen tobacco education and our teen tobacco use is on the decline, whereas in the rest of the province it is on the rise.
“We also feel it is really important because there are a lot of things out there that can influence kids now and peer pressure is a big issue so they need to make up their minds before they are offered tobacco.”
For more information, check out www.buttugly.info