RICHMOND (VR) – Miss Virginia Victoria Chuah will promote healthy choices and substance use prevention to students in Virginia elementary schools as part of Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority’s (ABC) 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 Education and Prevention mission to eliminate 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 with a pre-recorded video or live presentation.
During her visit, Miss 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 (SOLs) 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 grade) 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.
Through the Miss Virginia School Tour students will:
- learn what positive choices are and how to make them, and how to say “no” when something is not healthy for their bodies;
- understand what it means to be a leader in their community and among their friends; and
- be able to identify who is a trusted adult and understand the role they play in their lives.
A Drexel University graduate, Chuah recently earned her master’s degree in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh, graduating summa cum laude. In addition to her campaign to promote healthy choices, as Miss Virginia she plans to also champion her social impact initiative, “4A: Awareness & Advocacy for Adults with Autism,” which is inspired by her 19-year-old brother, Luke, who has autism.
“Substance abuse prevention efforts must begin in Virginia’s elementary schools,” said Chuah. “It is imperative that we set young people up for success in every aspect of their life.”
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, Tatum Sheppard, visited 34 elementary schools reaching 8,441 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 Education and Prevention Director Katie Crumble. “This early communication sets the stage for a lifetime of promoting health and safety through being informed, approachable and good leaders.”
Schools interested in scheduling a Miss Virginia presentation may request a school tour stop by visiting www.abc.virginia.gov/education/programs/miss-va.
Virginia ABC Education and Prevention provides free educational publications which can be ordered online. For the order form, visit www.abc.virginia.gov/education/publications.
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.