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Students clearing the air

April 05, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

karenh@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - It must be something in the air.

Three high school sophomores will be the second group from Boonsboro High School in two years to go on the air with a message of cleaner living.

Cory McKee, 15, Jessica Jordan, 15, and Amy Landsman, 16, will travel to Baltimore today to help record a public service announcement as part of their reward for winning a statewide competition sponsored by anti-smoking groups.

"I'm very proud of them," health teacher Tracy Bonebrake-Miller said. "They really stepped up to the plate and really did an awesome job.

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The contest, which is sponsored by Maryland Smoking Stops Here and Maryland Teens Rejecting Abusive Smoking Habits, challenges students in middle school and high school to craft a 60-second anti-tobacco radio announcement.

McKee said it took the three students about three class periods to research and write, "Who has more fun?" The radio spot focuses on the seven years cut from the average smoker's life span.

An announcer - the ad will be recorded by a voice actor - states: "That means you would be missing at least seven vacations, grandchildren's graduations and 63 holidays.

Laura Sobers, community outreach manager for Maryland Smoking Stops Here, said the spot will launch on April 13 as part of Kick Butts Day, a national anti-smoking initiative aimed at youngsters.

Sobers said 13 radio stations will play the ad over the following two weeks.

Contest finalists are determined by judges, Sobers said, and winners are picked through online judging.

Boonsboro High has so far swept the 2-year-old contest.

Last year's ad, "Going into town," which identifies the poisonous ingredients in cigarettes, also won.

"I think it's cool that we're motivating other students to be more aware of smoking, and they're as excited as we were to win for the first time," said one of last year's winners, Boonsboro High junior Amanda Eisel, 17.

Jordan, McKee and Landsman said they're looking forward to hearing the ad. They will have the opportunity to introduce themselves at the end of the announcement.

"It's an exciting thing. It was an exciting thing," Landsman said.

Group members said they lobbied their friends and family to vote online for the announcement and stayed up watching the balloting.

According to information provided by Sobers, three other Boonsboro High groups placed in the competition. More than 100 students submitted entries, Sobers said.

Bonebrake-Miller said she assigns the project to her classes and considers it "a service to the community."

Eisel said she hopes the ads will touch at least a few people.

"It would help someone make a difference because it's coming from someone their own age who did the research," Eisel said.

Eisel said she isn't sure how many people the ad will reach, "but that one or two people that it does affect, that's one or two lives that aren't going to get cancer from smoking."




Where to listen


Laura Sobers, community outreach manager for Maryland Smoking Stops Here, said radio spots produced by students as part of a contest to create anti-tobacco public service announcements will air on 13 stations in Maryland.

They include Washington, D.C., stations:

93.9 WKYS-FM

95.5 WPGC-FM

99.5 WIHT-FM

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