Jana Waggoner, a respiratory therapist at the hospital, explained, "This is the first year we have offered the tobacco education program to Greene County Schools."
Waggoner, of Lyons, believes the program was well-received by Greene County third graders.
"They were well-behaved and anxious to hear what we had to say. I think they learned a lot," she explained.
The program involves showing a video on tobacco prevention as well as offering several reasons to say no to smoking and chewing.
"We go into the classrooms and talk about the different types of tobacco ... and we also give them tips on how to say no," Waggoner said, noting the program is both fun and educational.
But it's two real lungs that seems to capture the attention of students.
During the program, students are shown two animal lungs. One is healthy and pink and the other is black.
"That's really dramatic. They actually get to see how tar gets into a lung from smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for a year," she explained.
The program also involved some hands-on fun.
Students designed tobacco education posters which were entered in a contest. Each school had three winners with the overall winner being Sadie Kemp, an Eastern Greene third grader.
The three winners from each school received a drawstring backpack, Frisbee and T-shirt. The overall winner received the same and will have her art reproduced in the hospital's publications.
The tobacco education program has been offered to Bloomington students for the past 10 years, Waggoner said.
"We were excited to offer the program for the first time in Greene County. The teachers and students were so wonderful," she added.