Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc.

Growing Up Tobacco Free

Chevak Head Start’s Family Advocate, Amber Gauthier reading “No Thanks to Tobacco!” to a classroom of students.

The Growing Up Tobacco-Free (GUTF) in Alaska Project works to create a healthier environment for Head Start children in 23 Head Start communities by promoting tobacco prevention and cessation through education, awareness of risks and encouragement of becoming healthy, tobacco-free role models. The program engages local Head Start staff in education to build capacity of the local wellness providers. The project also plans to promote the development of smoke-free policies in the communities while developing and strengthening coalitions within the communities, the regions and state. 

State of Alaska funding supports the GUTF in Alaska project in RurAL CAP Head Start centers. GUTF program staff will work with Head Start staff to expand their tobacco prevention outreach beyond the Head Start centers to tribal and city governments, schools, stores and other businesses and homes. Through this same funding, Resilient Alaska Youth (RAY) AmeriCorps Members will also begin to strategically incorporate tobacco cessation referrals and prevention education into their service with rural youth in 15 communities each year.