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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Spencer students participate in STEP Summit

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Emily Gilderhus, John Culver, and Kristi Yoes attended the Iowa STEP Summit in Des Moines.
(Photo submitted)
On July 26, Emily Gilderhus, Megan Wissbaum, John Culver and Kristi Yoes attended the Iowa STEP Summit in Des Moines. Culver and Wissbaum are on the state executive council and plan events such as the Summit. They spent many hours preparing for the Summit. Gilderus and Yoes traveled for a day of edcuation, games, activities, and best of all, meeting youth from all across the state of Iowa.

Culver has been very active in the STEP program and has served on the executive council for over a year. This year at the Summit he was elected president of the entire state STEP group. He will have a very busy year planning events, helping many I STEP groups thoughout Iowa get groups started, as well as helping in our community.

Spencer STEP has four street marketing events in the community each year. A couple examples of street marketing are pairs of shoes to represent the number of tobacco related deaths, and a drop every 72 seconds representing someone dies of tobacco-related problems. A street marketing event is a great education tool for people to visualize the effects of tobacco use, as well as give our youth a chance to use creativity to develop more street marketing events.

Spencer STEP is our local STEP name. It is formerly the JEL (Just Eliminate Lies) program that was started by youth in 2000 to fight Big Tobacco attempts to get youth addicted to tobacco. In July 2011, JEL was eliminated from state funding; however, with many strong supporters, the I STEP group formed to keep the youth-led tobacco free group together. Spencer STEP has four active members with a few new members eager to start the activities also.

Any youth interested in the STEP program can contact one of the youth listed or call tobacco coordinator Pat McGee at Compass Pointe at 262-2952.

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