21 Volition Youth were interviewed, selected, and trained to be a Peers With Purpose presenter in 2019. Youth were first interviewed by Mr. Rivera, high school social worker and co-adviser for the high school youth group. Students then completed a 2.5 hour training during school in February, led by veteran student presenters. Youth were divided into three groups to present the content to 8th grade students at Forest Park Middle School. On the day of the training, youth presenters conducted the interactive content to over 350 8th grader students over 12 class periods. Content included information and activities on drugs, alcohol, prescription pills, and tobacco. 8th grade student seemed engaged in the content.
Volition Franklin collaborated with Forest Park Middle School Staff and district administration to present information to all 8th grade Forest Park Middle School students about vaping, as well as how to be an advocate for positive choices and positive peer influence.
Franklin Public School’s Director of Athletics and Activities led a presentation about vaping, health effects, and addiction. The students then broke out into three subgroups—how vaping effects athletics and activities, the health effects of vaping on the body, and how to be a positive peer influence. Volition Youth members presented content about advocacy, how to be a positive peer influence, and demonstrated refusal skills. In one of the activities, 8th grade students were asked to write how they were a positive peer influence. Some examples they provided were:
I’m a good peer to my fiends because I support them in what they want to do that’s good
My friends feel open to ask me for help/ advice and I make sure they know that
I’m good a cheering people up
I accept them for who they are and encourage them to stay strong
About 75 8th grade students selected to attend the Volition Franklin breakout session. Six Volition Youth members presented over the course of four days (eight presentations).
Volition Franklin joined Coalitions County wide for the annual collaboration Light and Unite RED Campaign. Light and Unite RED Week puts a spotlight on the dangers of substance use while uniting our communities and community members to engage in prevention, encourage treatment and support recovery.
Here in Franklin, many different sectors came together to raise awareness!
Mayor Olson proclaimed the week of 1/22-1/28 Light and Unite RED Week in the City of Franklin and City Hall illuminated an Evergreen Tree in the front of the building with red lights to show support.
The community was encouraged to participate in wear red day on Friday and share images on the volition Franklin Facebook page and local businesses were encouraged to participate in wear red day!
High School and Middle School Volition Youth members facilitated lunchtime activities with their peers and distributed red pencils with the message “students light the way”. Student’s identified how they are actively a positive peer influence and wrote the response on a “feather” – “feathers” were used for the creation of red wings made in each school for display. For the rest of the week, students could take their photo with the wings and post to their social media accounts. They also read announcements each day of the week with facts about tobacco, vaping, underage drinking, marijuana and prescription medications
The coalition partnered with Innovative Health and Fitness to host a walking contest in support of Light and Unite RED Week. Innovative Health and Fitness hosted the event on their indoor track, welcoming both members and nonmembers to log their miles walked. 367 total miles were walked for prevention during LUR week!
Volition Youth members assisted in the creation memes which were combined into a collage with various facts about vaping which were posted in the middle and high school bathrooms.
Light and Unite RED educational materials were also displayed at the Franklin Police Department!
Volition Youth member presented to all 7th grade Forest Park Middle School students about the evolution of cigarettes and vaping. The presentation included information and demonstrations about the marketing techniques of cigarette companies, negative health effects, and how to be a postive role modle resisiting these substances.
Students were tasked with participating in a poster contest where nine winning posters, combating the marketing tactics of big tobacco, would be displayed at Showtime Movie Theater from July, 2019-March, 2020.
On December 18, 2018, Franklin’s Common Council voted to include electronic cigarettes in the current tobacco ordinance. With support from partners, the Franklin Police Department, Franklin Public Schools, and the Franklin Board of Health, members of Volition Franklin Youth FACT group educated the council about electronic smoking devices which contains cancer-causing chemicals in youth-appealing fruit and candy flavors. Many of these devices contain high levels of nicotine, which is damaging to the developing brain.
The day of the ordinance proposal, U.S. Surgeon General Vice Adm. Jerome M. Adams issued an advisory stressing the importance of protecting children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e- cigarette use.
In the amended ordinance, “smoking” is defined as inhaling or exhaling a lightened or heated tobacco product or smoking device that creates aerosol or vapor. This includes the following products: cigars cigarettes, pipes, hookahs, marijuana, electronic cigarettes, and vape pens. Smoking and use of electronic cigarettes is prohibited in any of the following enclosed places:
Common areas of multiple- unit residential properties
Child care centers
Educational facilities (including school-sponsored functions)
Places of employment or public places
Inpatient health care facilities
A sports arena
A bus shelter
A public conveyance
Residence halls or dormitories owned or operated by a college or university
Franklin is one of multiple nearby cities to implement this ordinance with intent to create a healthier, safer community.
On Thursday, December 6th, Volition Franklin Youth FACT group met with Representative Jessie Rodriguez to share the work they have been doing, specifically around youth tobacco and vape use.
Students explained how cigarillos and e-juice are flavored and packaged like candy. The group passed around the “tobacco tricks not treats” display board with flavored tobacco and vape products that look and taste like candy. They also passed around our sample vape box products and showed Representative Rodriguez what the JUUL vape looks like and Slushie and coffee flavored vape juices.
The group also talked about trends students see in school. Almost 9 in 10 cigarette smokers tried smoking before they were 18 years old. Today, almost 75% of high-school aged youth using tobacco products reported using a flavored tobacco product.
Volition Franklin attended the 2nd annual Franklin High School Halloween Spectacular hosted by the student senate. Volition Youth participated by offering cookie decorating to youth in the community and their parents. The coalition had signage with the message “candy flavored vapes are a trick not a treat”. Volition Youth volunteers gave out coloring books and comic books about children living tobacco and drug free. Members also provided education about e-cigarettes to adults. 100 children and their parents participated in the event.
Interested high school student leaders applied and were selected to be trained as Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) presenters. TATU is a program that allows high school students to mentor younger students about the dangers of smoking and vaping. Research shows that peer-led programs are effective ways to reduce youth tobacco use and positively influence younger students. Selected trainers provide presentations to 6th grade science classes at each elementary school in Franklin. During the presentation, peer leaders facilitate a content section about decision making and refusal skills. High school presenters conduct a skit in which they demonstrate various refusal skills and the six grade students have to guess which skill was used. About 350 six grade students are reached at all five public elementary schools.
Three seniors led the training for new TATU presenters. In addition to presenting about tobacco/vape use and its health effects, student leaders also discussed good presentation and leadership skills. All students were able to demonstrate the actual content of the TATU presentation to each other. Nine students were trained.
Red Ribbon Week is a nation drug prevention awareness campaign. Volition Franklin supported Red Ribbon Week by facilitating activities in the middle and high school all week. On Monday Volition Youth members were at the high school holding signs with facts about tobacco, vaping, underage drinking, and drugs on displayed. Volunteers also handed out bookmarks with a drug prevention message to English teachers to distribute during class. Students also read announcements each day stating drug facts, defining red ribbon week, and encouraging students to wear the color red on Thursday. 300 book marks were distributed.
On Wednesday Volition Youth middle school members passed out candy with labels stating “tobacco tricks not treat” during lunch. Members also created posters to place around the lunch room walls with facts about the negative health effects, costs, and tricky advertisement of tobacco products. About 700 students were reached during this activity.
On Thursday Volition Franklin Youth went back to the high school to display the posters and distribute red Volition socks and red ribbons so students could participate in the wear red day. 200 ribbons and socks were given to students.Students were encouraged to take a selfie wearing their new red gear and post to social media with #VolitionFranklin. Posters were hung on Volition Franklin member lockers advertising Red Ribbon Week and reminding students of the contest.Of all the students who posted to their social media accounts, one was selected at random to win a $20 Starbucks gift card.
Volition Franklin participated in the Academy for Performing Arts Trunk or Treat event. Volition Youth members decorated a trunk and dressed up as Candy Land characters. Volunteers distributed candy and candy-sharped erasers to children participating in the event. The candy had a sticker on them that said “candy flavored tobacco is a trick, not a treat”. Volition Youth also took time to educate parents about vaping and flavored tobacco.
Volition presented to about 50 students in junior and senior health classes at Franklin High School about vaping. A 30 minute presentation was given about the health effects of e-cigarettes, chemicals in e-juices/ vapes, and the marketing techniques of these companies. Students also played a khoot game to test their knowledge during the presentation. Afterwards, students were awarded with a piece of candy with a sticker that said “candy flavored tobacco is a trick not a treat”.
Volition Franklin hosted a resource table as well as a medication collection in partnership with the Franklin Police Department at the 2018 Adult Health and Wellness Fair. Over 500 attendees were at the fair.
The medication collection facilitated by the Police Officers allowed individuals to drop off their unused or expired medications. Our resource table offered information about our coalition, the local drug drop box, and also provided a variety of at home drug disposal methods. Our coalition distributed Deterra® drug disposal pouches, timercaps to secure medication, and postage paid mail back envelopes for those who may be homebound or unable to make it to a drop box location.
Volition Franklin also administered a survey which was completed by 137 individuals. The four question survey focused on opioids and proper disposal.
Volition Franklin partnered with Franklin High School to host the Life of an Athlete presentation. Life of an Athlete is a presentation created by John Underwood, former NCAA All-American and exercise scientist. This 90 minute presentation focuses on healthy choices and educating individuals of the effects alcohol and drug use has on one’s body and athletic performance.
The ultimate goal of this hosting this program was to help youth to take a clear look at the way in which they are living their lives at a time when many can still change for the better.
Volition Franklin worked directly with Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital- Franklin Campus to address opioid safety in the community.
Volition Franklin and Ascension Franklin worked together to supply community members who use the Franklin pharmacy on the Ascension campus with TimerCAP bottles. Volition Franklin funded 500 TimerCaps for distribution to the Franklin community. TimerCAPs can be used as a tool to help the consumer track how much time has passed since the bottle was last opened. This helps patients take their medications on time and avoid potential misuse.
Additionally, Ascension Franklin helped distribute informational sheets created by the coalition that remind community members about the 24 hour drug drop box location at the Franklin Police Department, located at 9455 W Loomis Road, and what can and cannot go into this drop box. By working together as a community and utilizing proper disposal techniques, we can get unused and expired medications out of our homes and communities and decrease the potential for misuse.
Volition Franklin, in partnership with Southbrook Church, hosted a free community dinner parenting event. This event brought together community members, including parents and children for an hour long presentation from the Parenting Network centered on healthy families and using meal time as a catalyst for family bonding and conversation. The speaker from the Parenting Network shared tips and activities parents and families could take back to their own homes to utilize as bonding tools.
Volition Franklin collaborated with local restaurants to provide a meal at no cost to all attendees. Crossroads donated pans of salad and dressing, Michaelangelos donated pans of mostaccioli, and Mimosa donated the dessert for the evening!
Volition Franklin had a resource table in the lobby of the school during the Forest Park Middle School back to school days on August 20-22!
Over the course of the three back to school days our table hosted information on our Volition Franklin Youth club at the Middle School and a signup sheet for new members- which had a great response.
Additionally, our “know the facts” educational sheets were available for people to take on the topics of vaping, underage drinking, prescription medication misuse, and marijuana.
Volition Franklin adult and youth offered free root beer floats to anyone who was interested with our new Volition Franklin color changing cups!
Volition Franklin hosted a Youth Leadership Summit with goals for participants to strengthen and learn leadership skills within the domains of advocacy, resume building, positive peer influence and community involvement.
The Youth Summit allowed High School aged youth in Franklin to become more acquainted with advocacy issues they care about, prepare for professional success, and become more confident in a leadership role. Different activities were completed throughout the three hour training, and Volition Franklin hosted a guest speaker, the City of Franklin Director of Administration, who spoke about how leadership skills influence ones future.
Volition Franklin hosted an education resource table at the Franklin National Night Out. Both adult and youth Volition Franklin members volunteered at the event educating about the “true cost of underage drinking”.
Information about the coalition was distributed as well as fact sheets on underage drinking. Volition Youth ran an interactive activity to encourage youth participation and learning. The activity consisted of a poster with statistics on how underage drinking affects the Franklin community. Participants had the opportunity to lift pictures of a park, school, bank, police car, gas station, hospital house, and car.
Volition Franklin was welcomed by the Franklin Recreation Department to host a resource table at the July 9th Recreation Department t-ball games. The coalition had the opportunity to provide information to approximately 125 registered players, their parents and siblings regarding substance misuse prevention. Many people interacted with the Volition Franklin volunteers at the table to receive resources and the free Volition Franklin Frisbee give a way! Educational sheets included information of how to start conversations with children about the dangers of underage drinking, advertisement for the upcoming Volition Franklin little libraries book drive, as well as a palm card consisting of general information about the coalition.
Volition Franklin Youth conducted environmental scans of alcohol advertising in Franklin to obtain data on the extent of alcohol advertising exposure to teens. A national study, Effects of Alcohol Advertising Exposure on Drinking Amount Youth, concluded that greater exposure to alcohol advertising contributes to an increase in drinking among underage youth. Specifically, for each additional ad a young person saw (above the monthly youth average of 23), he or she drank 1% more (Snyder, Milici, Slater, 2006). Though photo journaling, youth documented alcohol advertising in Franklin for two weeks. Environmental scans were done at alcohol retailers and advertisements within the Franklin community or events. Youth were specially looking for photo categories which included: a power wall of alcohol boxes displaying a larger image, advertising that directly appeals to youth/ young people, and outrageous product placement of alcohol next to youth-driven products.
Surprisingly, a minimal amount of alcohol advertising was noted. Within alcohol retailers, the majority had alcohol and all alcohol advertising confined to one location within the store. Two stores had alcohol placed on end caps next to candy and soda. Volition can utilize this data to approach retailers, and along with education, encourage them to place alcohol in one location away from items youth may be interested in.