Social media program promotes positive lifestyle choices for teens
December 31, 2014
Craig — They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and the organizers of the "Better Me YV" social media campaign — or #bettermeyv — are hoping that pictures can be used to promote positive lifestyle choices among Yampa Valley teens.
Launched valley-wide during the summer, the campaign invites middle and high school students in Routt and Moffat counties to share how they are staying healthy in the Yampa Valley.
"Students may post photos of themselves doing what they love — hunting, skiing, volunteering, etc.," stated a news release from the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. "A $100 cash prize will be awarded to a winning photo chosen at the end of each month through May."
All kids have to do is post their photos to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #bettermeyv.
New Grand Futures Director Cassandra Vigil said nearly 500 photos have been submitted since the launch of the program July 1.
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"It fits in well with our mission to give kids healthy alternatives to alcohol and tobacco and other drugs," Vigil said.
The campaign has been slow to take off in Moffat County, however, because of turnover at the Grand Futures Prevention Coalition and the VNA in Craig.
Vigil and VNA Community Health Educator Jennifer Mattern are working to ignite interest among Moffat County students with the start of the new semester and new year.
"We're trying to meet with all the student groups around town — Teen Council, Student Council, Key Club, 4-H, Young Life …" Mattern said. "We want the kids to run it, deciding what they want to win, what would motivate them, what they want the contest to look like."
In addition to the cash prize, kids who submit photos can have their photos shown at venues such as the movie theater.
Mattern and Vigil also are organizing a traveling art gallery leading up to "Kick Butts Day" on March 18 (as in cigarette butts).
They hope to display the gallery — which will include every picture submitted by both Moffat and Routt students — at local business downtown as well as at Craig Middle School and Moffat County High School. They also want to turn the gallery into a digital slideshow that will play on TV screens throughout the schools.
The VNA and Grand Futures partnered for the campaign to satisfy the requirements of a tobacco grant received by the VNA, which stipulates that part of the funding must be allocated toward tobacco use prevention among youths.
"It's giving kids the opportunity to post healthy and fun activities," Vigil said. "They post pictures all day anyway, so (it's great) if they can do something positive out of it. We just want them to go out and do something cool and share it with their friends."