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Reno Valley Middle School RESIST Chapter visits capitol with Health Dept.'s Tonya Culp

2/29/2024 1:01:00 AM

Reno County Health Department Educator Tonya Culp traveled with seventh and eighth grade students and school staff in the Reno Valley Middle School RESIST chapter to attend “Take Down Tobacco Day” in Topeka. The group arrived Tuesday and participated in group building activities with other state RESIST chapters. Culp said they were taught how to successfully speak to state representatives on the topic of how we wanted this generation to be the first tobacco free generation and how working with their representatives on policy change would make that happen. On Wednesday, Culp said that they had an early start at the capitol building where we were scheduled to meet with three of their local representatives and with Senator Mark Steffen. Unfortunately, because of a scheduling conflict, they were not able to meet with their representatives or senator. The group took a self-guided tour of the capitol building that included the dome tour. The group met Lieutenant Governor David Toland while they were in the capitol building. Lt. Gov. Toland took a picture with them and then took them on a tour of his office that included having the students look for a hidden compartment on his desk. As you can see in the picture they crawled all over the floor looking for that compartment. It was found and inside was candy for each of them. Culp said that they had a wonderful experience with Lt. Gov. Toland, it was the highlight of their trip!

RESIST is a statewide, youth-led movement that uses activism to expose and encourage others to resist big tobacco's manipulative marketing topics. Resist Tobacco | For Tobacco-Free Kansas Teens is at

Group members were:

Vince Naccarato-principal of RVMS

Rachelle Annis-RESIST sponsor and teacher at RVMS

Braxton Stephens-student

Rielyn Yagel-student

Kenna Huggard-student

Jaycie Ohnmacht-student

Aleah Collins-student

Brady Engelland-student

Tonya Culp- Reno Count Health Department Educator

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