Tar Wars Program

In the spring of 2023, all 2,061 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.

Through Tar Wars, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow and Barrow County School System partner 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.

NGMC Barrow Tar Wars Poster Contest Winners 2023

About Tar Wars

BCSS has been partnering with Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Barrow since 2018 to teach students about the health effects of long and short term tobacco use, the cost associated tobacco products, the advertisement techniques used to market to youth, and the dangerous and addictive chemicals in tobacco. Ellen Petree, BCSS School & Community Relations Specialists says, “Through the Tar Wars data from pre and post-tests, we see considerable knowledge gained by our students each year. We are also very thankful for our educators incorporating this program into health education each year. It is an honor to partner with Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow in this program, since Barrow County has a high incidence of lung cancer. We are convinced knowledge is power, and further educating our youth will affect change.”

As part of the program, all students design a poster to illustrate their learning and discourage tobacco use. Each class selects the top 3 posters to be submitted for district-level competition in the Tar Wars Poster Contest. All posters are sent to Sunita Singh, Public Relations Manage for NGMC Barrow. She and her PR team narrowed several hundred posters to 36 semi-finalists. The Winder Rotary Club narrowed the semi-finalists to 9 finalists by selecting one poster from each elementary school. The hospital then conducted a Facebook voting campaign and the top 3 poster entries were selected. These top 3 posters also went on to the state competition.

Poster Contest Winners

BCSS has been fortunate the last few years to have students’ posters win at the state level. In 2021 we had a 2nd place state winner, in 2022 we swept the state with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place wins, and this year Lynda-Mae Peppers was awarded 2nd place in the state poster contest by Kara Sinkule, Deputy Director for Georgia Healthy Family Alliance. During the Aug. 1 BCSS Board of Education meeting, all 3 BCSS winners were recognized and award prizes from John Neidenbach, Administrator for Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow, and Ms. Sinkule recognized Lynda-Mae Peppers.

Congratulations to our system winners for the 2022-23 school year!

1st Place: Lynda-Mae Peppers, HES
(2nd Place for the State!)

2nd Place: Emily Mendoza, BES

3rd Place: Sefora Santa, AES

Tar Wars Winners at BOE Meeting

Making an Impact in Barrow

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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