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Program teaches tobacco dangers

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) sponsored “Be Smart-Don’t Start Anti-Tobacco Day” on May 12 at Science Museum Oklahoma. More than 2,700 guests attended and more than 1,700 students from 21 schools were present for field trips.

BCBSOK initiated the “Be Smart-Don’t Start” program in 2004, teaching thousands of Oklahoma youth how to live a healthy lifestyle and make smart choices. The program includes an anti-tobacco curriculum, distributed to more than 900 teachers in 620 schools through Newspapers in Education and published in The Oklahoman.

According to the state Health Department, about 3,300 children younger than 18 will become new smokers each year. This program uses fun, hands-on, educational activities as a prevention tool to help address the rising issue.

For more information, go to bcbsok.com.

Community advocate awarded

Karen Waddell, CEO of Lynn Institute and community advocate, was the recipient of SALLT’s 2017 Clapham Award in recognition of making a positive difference for the common good in Oklahoma City.

The annual Clapham Award celebrates the work of SALLT graduates who demonstrate exemplary Godly leadership in transforming culture, unifying people toward common goals, and creating systemic change that benefits all.

According to a news release, Waddell was one of the major catalysts for bringing Safe Families to Oklahoma and is the driving force behind Count Me in For Kids, which is a community-led collaborative whose goal is to meet the needs of the children in foster care.

Salt and Light Leadership Training (SALLT) is a 501c3 organization that serves Christian leaders from public, private and social sectors by helping them leverage their passion, skills and influence for the common good of the city.



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