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Members of Dover Youth to Youth review their newest message about quitting smoking in the McConnell Center in Dover Monday afternoon. Their 30-second clip will appear on several television channels in the region throughout March. (JOHN QUINN PHOTO)

Dover teens take to the air to keep others smoke free

DOVER - The effort to keep teenagers from getting hooked on cigarettes is getting a boost from teens who know how to speak to their peers.

On Monday, members of Dover Youth to Youth released their first broadcast quality public service advertisement - a 30-second video message entitled "Breaking Up" - which debuted on WMUR and will be seen during the "Ellen" show throughout March.

Additionally, Dover Youth to Youth made arrangements with Comcast to show the PSA 100 times on NESN, MTV and the Hallmark Channel over the next three weeks, according to Adam Glidden, 17, a senior at Dover High School.

Breaking Up can also be seen on Dover Youth to Youth's YouTube Channel: DoverY2Y at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oc8dLNt2TB4.

Glidden said they came up with the idea of breaking up with cigarettes based on a song and felt it was a great theme.

"Tobacco is like a bad relationship," Glidden said.

Youth to Youth Coordinator Dana Mitchell, who retired as a captain with Dover police, said the group first produced a similar radio commercial, but decided to take it to the next level.

While it is the first time the after-school drug prevention program has ventured onto TV in its 15-year history, members have always tried to find new ways to spread their message, said Ava Dodson, 13, a 7th grade student at Dover Middle School.

"For a long time Dover Youth to Youth has been well known for its creative radio public service spots on tobacco, underage drinking and other drug use. The students have made more than 70 radio ads over the past 15 years, several of which have won awards," Dodson said.

Dodson said it took about a dozen Youth to Youth members to put together the PSA, which was more challenging than they expected. She added they learned a lot about how camera angles, sound, annunciation, lighting and other factors need to be just right.

"Everything has to be perfect," Dodson said.

The PSA was created after a two-year process of learning about video production. "Breaking Up" was created by Dover Youth to Youth members with production assistance from Jeff Spires of Spires Video, of Dover, who helped them through the technical process of filming.

Members of Youth to Youth have already started working on two more videos which target underage drinking: "The Fridge" will underscore where many teens find alcohol while another PSA will tell the store of Taylor Meyer, a young girl who died of exposure after being at a party in the woods.

Mitchell said there are about 70 members in the group, which has about 70 members from grades six to 12. The organization, which conducts its own fundraising, is coordinated through the Dover Police Department's Community Outreach Bureau and operates out of the McConnell Center.

For more information, visit www.doveryouth.com

jquinn@newstote.com



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