Youth ages 8-14 across the District of Columbia are learning to make healthy lifestyle choices, while raising self-confidence and learning valuable life skills through the 4-H Health Rocks! program. The Health Rocks Program is a healthy living program that strives to reduce tobacco, alcohol and drug use among youth in the District of Columbia. Health Rocks seeks to engage youth and adults in a partnership to develop and implement community strategies that help youth understand influences and heath consequences of tobacco, alcohol and drug use. The interactive program is adaptable to multiple teaching situations, uses interactive hands on learning and meets National Health Education Standards.
"Before Health Rocks, the youth believe that flavored tobacco or vapor cigarettes--which are often sold by candy in convenience stores--are good. They believe that MJ is natural and from the Earth, and that K-2 is legal," explains Carlita. "they believe it's cool because current music and TV programming tell them it is."
The Health Rocks program quickly dispels those and similar myths, through activities that educate about chemicals associated with these products and how and why they are marketed with flavors and fun characters.
According to Carlita, Health Rocks offers an effective support system for students to deal with stress, which can trigger drug or tobacco use. The program also teaches self-reliance and self-efficiency, learning how to move past failure in a positive way where they do not have to turn to illegal substances.
Click here to learn more about the 4-H Health Rocks program, download the Health Rocks app or contact Carlita at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carlita Law is the coordinator for D.C.'s Health Rocks Program. Carlita has seen the growth of youth when it comes to learning about how drugs, alcohol and tobacco can impact one's life. She describes how youth--especially in disadvantaged areas such as DC's Ward 8-- start off proud of their drug usage, but have second thoughts once they begin participating in Health Rocks.