August Free Press - Crystal Graham, Published date:September 16, 2023
Miss Virginia Katie Rose will promote healthy choices and substance use prevention to students in Virginia elementary schools as part of Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority’s Miss Virginia school tour program.
The Miss Virginia Organization and Virginia ABC share the combined goal of educating students about making positive decisions to better prepare for success.
Supported by the Virginia ABC community health and engagement mission to prevent high risk and underage alcohol use, Miss Virginia educates elementary school students about the risks of alcohol and other drug use. The tour is funded by a $17,500 ABC grant and features several program options for elementary schools across the state, which can participate in person or virtually live.
A George Mason University graduate, Rose earned a law degree from the University of Richmond this year. As Miss Virginia, she plans to also champion her social impact initiative focusing on raising awareness for domestic violence and keeping individuals safe.
Rose feels that ABC’s campaign to prevent substance abuse underscores her commitment to improving the lives of children in dangerous circumstances.
“I know that I want to encourage and have a platform for every child to make healthy choices for themselves and feel that they have a safe place to come forward if they choose to do so,” said Rose. “Substance abuse prevention efforts must begin in Virginia’s elementary schools.”
Since 1953, the Miss Virginia Pageant has provided a platform for young women to advocate for causes and issues important to them. Virginia ABC has a long-standing partnership with the Miss Virginia Organization.
Last year’s Miss Virginia, Victoria Chuah, visited 67 elementary schools reaching 18,369 students promoting healthy decision making and leadership through the Miss Virginia school tour program.
“Virginia ABC and the Miss Virginia Organization have collaborated to meet students where they are with age-appropriate information about drugs and alcohol to protect them from dangerous behaviors as they grow older,” said Virginia ABC community health and engagement director Katie Crumble. “This early communication sets the stage for a lifetime of promoting health and safety by being informed, approachable and good leaders.”
School programsMiss Virginia provides the foundation and encouragement for young students to understand healthy choices and be aware of the harms of substance use.
The Miss Virginia school tour messaging aligns with the Virginia Standards of Learning of Advocacy and Health Promotion, Essential Health Concepts and Healthy Decisions focusing on substance use prevention as outlined in the SOLs. In accordance with these standards, two versions of the presentation based on grade level (Kindergarten-first grade and second-fifth grades) are available.
Each student who participates in the program receives a copy of Virginia ABC’s educational health and safety activity workbook. The workbook encourages powerful connections when a teacher or caregiver shares the experience of completing the book with a child. Workbooks will be shipped to each school prior to the scheduled visit.