Welcome back Florida educators and students! This is the sixth year the Florida Tobacco Prevention course has been offered at the state level and we are so excited to share some changes for the 2015-2016 school year.
First, we have had a change to our name. We are now the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators: An Online Professional Development for K-12 Educators. You never realize all the places your logo appears until you change it. While we continue to update our banners, flyers, headers and icons, know that our mission remains the same: to provide current information to Florida educators so they may teach their students about the health dangers of tobacco and nicotine use.
The second big change we are excited about is we now have two courses – a 30- or a 60 point course – in which to earn teacher in-service credits. Many participants stated they wanted to take the course, but didn’t need 60 credits to renew their certificate. Problem solved. The 30 credit course will have reduced content in its 12 chapters, two forums and two comprehensive assignments, while the 60 credit course will have 14 chapters, four forums, and four assignments. Both courses will have a quiz after each chapter and a comprehensive test at the end. Participants are required to write and submit an original lesson plan as well as chose five other lessons from our lesson library to teach a total of six tobacco lessons to their students in order to receive the credits.
According to our statistics from last year, 223 educators in 42 counties completed this course and taught tobacco lessons which impacted 6,613 students. The majority of our participants were in a public school district, but we also had participants in public charter schools as well as private/independent, campus-based, and special audience public. Elementary school teachers were the largest group who took the course at 40.7%. And all subject areas were represented including School Counselors, Fine Arts, Administrators, ESE Adaptive and Drivers Education.
Every year participants state how they are amazed at the way our youth are targeted by the tobacco industry; before it was through smoking, now youth are targets of the e-cigarette industry. We hear from our participants how the information they presented in their lessons had an impact on the lives of their students. Students took their new knowledge home and shared it with their families, and several reported their family members either quit or reduced their smoking. Less tobacco use by family members means our students are less likely to use tobacco in the future.
The new school year has barely started and already we have 30 participants registered from seven counties. You can make a difference in the health of your students by teaching them about the dangers of tobacco and other nicotine delivery systems that are currently on the market. Take a moment to look at our course and enroll at Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators.
Let’s have a great school year!