Tar Wars Program

Making an Impact in Barrow

In the spring of 2022, all 1,665 fourth and fifth-grade students in the Barrow County School System participated in Tar Wars, a tobacco-free education program developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians. This was the fourth consecutive year Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow partnered with the Barrow County School System to teach students about the health effects of tobacco use, the cost associated with using them, and the advertising techniques used by the tobacco industry to market to youth.

Sunita Singh, Public Relations Manager for Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow says "With the goal of reducing tobacco use among young people and beginning a discussion about changing culture, we are honored to partner with Barrow County School System in our fight against smoking and abuse among our children. We are thankful to Barrow County school teachers, nurses and counselors to deliver TAR WARS presentations to the 4th and 5th grade students."

As part of the program, students designed a poster to discourage tobacco use. Each class selected the top 3 posters, which went on to participate in a district-level competition. NGMC Barrow partnered with Winder Rotary to narrow the submissions, which were then voted on through Facebook to select the top 3 poster entries for the Barrow County School System.

NGMC Barrow Tar Wars Poster Contest Winners 2022

System Winners

Congratulations to our system winners for the 2021-2022 school year!

  • 1st Place: Melody Chavous, 5th grade Kennedy Elementary
  • 2nd Place: Asare Opoku, 4th grade Yargo Elementary
  • 3rd Place: Jayden Babilonia Hernandez, 5th grade Auburn Elementary
Tar Wars Poster Contest Winners with Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow Staff

L-R: Sunita Singh, NGMC Barrow PR Manager; Melody Chavous; Asare Opoku; Ellen Petree, BCSS School & Community Relations Specialist; Jayden Babilonia Hernandez

State Winners

After the district competition, our winners then swept the state competition! To recognize them, Tar Wars Statewide Manager Abbey Carr and Deputy Director for Georgian Health Family Alliance Kara Sinkule presented students with their monetary award and certificate at the Oct. 4 Board of Education meeting.

The state rankings were:

  • 1st Place in Georgia: Melody Chavous
  • 2nd Place in Georgia: Jayden Babilonia Hernandez
  • 3rd Place in Georgia: Asare Opoku
Tar Wars Poster Contest Winners at October BOE Meeting

State Recognition at Oct. 4, 2022 BOE Meeting

Tar Wars 2022 First Place

Melody Chavous, 5th grade KES

Tar Wars 2022 Second Place

Asare Opoku, 4th grade YES

Tar Wars 2022 Third Place

Jayden Babilonia Hernandez, 5th grade AES


To measure knowledge gained through Tar Wars students are given a pre-test to establish their baseline knowledge. After completing the Tar Wars program, they take a post-test. Data revealed significant gains in all areas especially in student learning about the effects of smoking or vaping on the body, the tactics of targeted advertising, and the influence of peers in making choices. 84% of students reported learning something new from the Tar Wars program.

We are very thankful to our District Partner In Education, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow, for their leadership and support in promoting healthy lifelong choices for students.

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