Sponsored by IGA and the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Task Force

National campaign to stop the spread of methamphetamine

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[June 21, 2007]  BAY CITY, Wis. -- A grass-roots campaign is just beginning -- one designed to stop methamphetamine with the help of local community youth, their talent and their love for the movies. 

Methamphetamine is systematically sweeping across the United States from west to east, ravaging families, communities and economies as it goes. Many people want to think it's not "my problem." Think again; meth affects everyone. A new study just revealed by the National Institute of Health shows meth use among U.S. youth to be higher than previously expected. It's a devastating drug that crosses the line for recreational use and it has to be stopped. Taproot Inc. believes it can, on the grass-roots level, by promoting the creative talent of every community's youth. Taproot is sponsoring a national "meth movie" contest opportunity for all students in all towns. All of these community movies will become part of a national premiere in November.

According to Taproot CEO Linda Flanders, "Communities can encourage their young people to get involved, use their talent and love of pop culture to jump in and make a short movie -- one that is entertaining, but more importantly, educates everyone about the dangers of methamphetamine." The final big national premiere is Nov. 30, the day all movie entries are shown in their own hometown for National Methamphetamine Awareness Day. "Everyone involved learns while making the movie, then learns even more by watching their own creation," Flanders says.

The rules of the contest are simple: (1) Follow the researched script; (2) Film like a silent movie with action, gestures and expressions; (3) Add a narrator who tells the story; (4) Showcase local music. Show the movie in town as part of National Methamphetamine Awareness Day on Nov. 30 and send it in. Click here for details.

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Student filmmakers can win cash, Apple computers, Final Cut professional editing software and a Panasonic DVX 100 camera. Communities can continue to use the movie in schools and community venues until everyone in town is educated.

Says Flanders; "We want to offer an alternative to drugs and alcohol by engaging today's youth in the excitement that movies and music offer, plus promote their creative skills with today's digital technology." Taproot's vice president, Dr. Dorothy Halla-Poe, adds, "We also want to help young people learn to solve their own generation's problems and become constructive activists in their own community."

Research for the movie script came from affected families and experts throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The structure of the movie script is based on The Movie Making Process, a media arts learning process based on Dr. Stanley Greenspan's work in early childhood development, Dr. Howard Gardner's work on multiple intelligences and interests, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais' work with functional learning, and the work of Ron Davis from the Davis Dyslexia Institute with learning difficulties. "If you want someone to learn something, have them create it," says Davis.

Taproot Inc. was founded in 1997 to promote the use of the media arts for learning. They research and design short movie, song and stage play scripts into production templates that can be replicated. The meth movie contest is open to all students, regardless of age. Movies are to be shown locally on Nov. 30 and sent in by Dec. 10. Prizes are awarded in February 2008.

[Text from news release received from Taproot]

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