ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — More than 6,000 fourth-grade students from across New Jersey participated and 30 were selected as finalists and recognized at the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey “Design a Fourth Grade Folder Contest” award ceremony on April 27.
All 30 fourth-grade student finalists received medals for their creative peer-to-peer substance abuse prevention artwork with the theme, “Fun Things to Do Instead Of Doing Drugs.”
Liandra Taylor from Saint Michael School in Newark was named a finalist and an overall winner. Liandra’s artwork and message, “I Strum Away From Drugs,” will be displayed on 41,000 folders being distributed to students in September 2016.
School Seven in Belleville produced two finalists: Diego Guevara and Kaylee Guiterrez. Diego designed a skateboard message that read “Skate Away From Drugs,” while Kaylee took her interest for softball to design a message that read “Knock Drugs Out of the Park.”
Dominic Houck from F.N. Brown School in Verona designed a folder with the message “Kick Drugs out of Your Life.”
Emma Soares from Wilson Avenue School in Newark designed a poster to accompany her message, “Don’t Think of Drugs.”
Peter Tunnicliffe from Pleasantdale School in West Orange designed a message with an outer space theme that said, “I Don’t Need Drugs to Fly High.”
“These young students from around the state are setting tremendous examples for others to follow,” Angelo M. Valente, executive director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, said. “With their creativity and enthusiasm, they are to be commended for delivering compelling messages through their artwork to other students about enjoying a healthy life without drugs. Their artwork will help other children and teens understand that there are alternatives to drugs that are fun and rewarding.
“The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has consistently believed that early prevention programs like the Fourth Grade Folder Contest, are effective ways to actively engage New Jersey’s young people in selecting and maintaining a drug free, healthy lifestyle,” Valente continued.