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Positive message in Mariner Middle graffiti; Anti-smoking pictures, words tell of national Kick Butts Day

By Staff | Apr 3, 2008

Bringing schoolwide attention to national Kick Butts Day, members of the Students Making a Difference Club at Mariner Middle School drew wall-sized graffiti to illustrate an anti-smoking message.

After working on the graffiti — on giant pieces of construction paper — for two days, the message was finally displayed Wednesday in the school’s cafeteria by its seventh-grade creators: Logan Wells, Jonathan Castro, Elizabeth McGregor, April Mayle and Tabitha Mayle

The club, whose mission is to make a difference in the school, is a conglomerate of Students Against Drunk Driving, Students Working Against Tobacco and Students for Safer Schools.

Christine Rogers, a teacher at Mariner Middle, said she enjoyed working with the students on the graffiti project.

“I get excited about meeting with some of the good kids in this club,” said Rogers. “This is the first year we have done this project.”

Students in the club were assisted by the school’s health classes which just finished a unit on the effects of smoking. While some students drew images or scenes, others wrote song lyrics and poetry.

“I told them to try to include some of the positive things with not smoking because they were doing some of the nastier stuff,” said Rogers.

Rather than have the students drawing people with illnesses, for example, she prompted the students to show what can be positive about choosing not to smoke.

Some of the students even stayed after school to finish up the graffiti before it was posted Wednesday. Even though it was supposed to be posted outside, heavy winds caused it to be moved to the stage in the cafeteria.

Logan, 13, said he wrote a song for the giant graffiti posters.

“I made a song I wrote about not smoking,” he said.

There were more than 2,000 events Wednesday for Kick Butts Day across the country (kickbuttsday.org). While it was the first time Mariner has participated, Kick Butts Day has been celebrated for more than 13 years.

Students Making a Difference have other projects they are working on for the future. On April 26, the group is planning a trash and treasure sale at the school where vendors can rent table space for $6. The proceeds go to purchasing flags and pins for district employees who have a family member serving abroad in the armed forces.

Some of the students in the club are also helping to create a collage of those in the armed services that will be posted at the Lee Education Center.