>   The Culver School District has been awarded a $72,723 grant for school-based tobacco prevention. The grant program is awarded and funded through the Oregon Department of Human Services Tobacco Prevention and Education Program.
   Culver will develop a comprehensive school-based tobacco prevention program for kindergarten through 12th grades, with special emphasis on middle school students.
   Grant funds will be used to fund a part-time district tobacco program coordinator, K-12 tobacco prevention curriculum, and to bring community partners, parents, students, and district staff together to address issues related to youth tobacco use initiation.
   "We are so excited to receive this grant because it is such a proactive program, and it supports the district's tobacco prevention policies," said Culver Superintendent Linda Florence, adding, "When the focus is on the health of our students, then learning is enhanced."
   Research shows that there is a significant increase in tobacco use among youth between eighth and 11th grades. In Jefferson County, 19 percent of 11th graders smoke compared to nine percent of eight graders.
   "We are very excited that the Culver district will be receiving this grant," commented Danna Hastings, Jefferson County tobacco program coordinator. "Having a school-based program in the county will provide more enthusiasm and opportunity for addressing the devastating impact tobacco has on our youth and community."
   The grant is awarded for the 2006-07 academic year, but is renewable for up to five years.
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