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One of the biggest concerns of the people at the National Tuberculosis Center is the number of people under the age of 18 who do not get tested for tuberculosis. Another concern is that young people with tuberculosis fail to take medication in a timely manner for the months needed to rid the body of the disease. These young people do not seem to understand the seriousness of TB and the possibilities for its treatment and cure. One of the solutions is education.

You can help this education effort and get school credit as you prepare some kind of communication product (flier, TV spot, skit, video, etc.). The purpose of your product is to help young people understand the risks of tuberculosis and the benefits of testing and/or following through with appropriate treatment. Before you begin, you need to identify a specific group of young people as your target audience. Examples of a target audiences would be "homeless girls between the ages of 15 and 18", or "middle school age children of people who have immigrated to the U.S. from ____(name a specific country or region) in the last --___ years". Once you decided on the message you want to "sell" and your target audience, you need to decide the best way to accomplish your task.

You may choose any communication product that is appropriate. Art, music, and drama are all methods of communication. You could design a flier, write a rap, or create a poster. You could do a skit, tape a video, or prepare an advertising campaign. The goal is to communicate an important idea to a particular group of people.

While working on your product, keep the following questions in mind:

  1. What is unique about the audience you are trying to reach?

  2. Why should anyone care if they do or do not have (or get) tuberculosis?

  3. What are possible reasons for current behavior (not taking medicine regularly, not avoiding risk factors, unwillingness to be tested)?

  4. Why would the reader (listener, viewer) want to change his or her behavior and do what your are proposing instead?

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