Thursday, December 14, 2017

Schuylkill County Student's Artwork Included in Attorney General's Drug Free Calendar

Earlier this week, Attorney General Josh Shapiro congratulated the winners of the Attorney General's 21st Annual Drug-Free Calendar Contest, including a student from Schuylkill County

Photo Courtesy of the Attorney General's Office.

Click here to view the calendar.

In October, National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, fifth-grade students across the Commonwealth were invited to create an original work of art illustrating a drug-free message. The artwork of 13 students was selected to appear in the 2018 calendar, which is circulated throughout the Commonwealth in an effort to educate the public about the dangers of drug use.

“Our annual calendar contest is about more than celebrating student artwork; it’s about students empowering other young people to make informed choices,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Combatting the opioid epidemic is my number one priority and we need a multipronged approach, including education to prevent drug use. Children must learn about the real dangers of substance abuse, and the calendar contest helps spread that message across the Commonwealth.”

Each calendar month is represented with artwork of a Pennsylvania student, with one additional student illustration on the front of the calendar. The winning entries were chosen from 842 submissions from 156 schools in 48 counties in Pennsylvania, based on the artists’ creativity and ability to illustrate and convey a drug-free message.

The contest winners were invited today to the Office of Attorney General in Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, where they were guests at a luncheon with Attorney General Shapiro and State Treasurer Joe Torsella. Attorney General Shapiro and other staff discussed the dangers of drugs with the students. Each student received a certificate and a $529 contribution to their Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program, which is supervised by Treasurer Torsella.

The calendar contest is funded through the Community Drug Abuse Prevention Fund. Fines and penalties collected from certain offenses, such as driving under the influence, contribute to the fund.

“The opioid epidemic has forever changed how we talk to our kids about the dangers of drug use. It is wonderful to see students from across the state hearing that message and sharing it through art,” said Treasurer Joe Torsella. “Additionally, I commend Attorney General Shapiro for using funds collected from other delinquencies to help brighten the future of these very talented students through a contribution to their PA 529 College Savings accounts.”

The following students were named 2018 Drug-Free Calendar Contest winners:

  • Cover: Brynn Burnsworth, Baden Academy Charter School, Beaver County
  • January: Julia Skalniak, St. Sylvester School, Allegheny County
  • February: Hannah Darabant, Charlestown Elementary School, Chester County
  • March: Rachel Cason, Paxtonia Elementary School, Dauphin County
  • April: Brianna Stonemark, Cecil Intermediate School, Washington County
  • May: Hailey Moran, Amosland Elementary School, Delaware County
  • June: Effi Hammer, Union Canal Elementary School, Lebanon County
  • July: Jacob Schmeltz, Hegins-Hubley Elementary School, Schuylkill County
  • August: Talen Brown, Goode K-8 School, York County
  • September: Marissa Barto, North Strabane Intermediate School, Washington County
  • October: Ella Aquilina, Valley Elementary School, Luzerne County
  • November: Alana Swartz, St. Mary Elementary School, Montgomery County
  • December: Ella Baldino, K.D. Markley Elementary School, Chester County

Agents and specialists from the Office of Attorney General visit schools throughout the year to meet with children to educate them about the importance of staying drug free. The programs feature customized lessons, interactive presentations and messages speaking directly to the audience.

Haley Bianco from Eyewitness News also recently interviewed Jacob after winning the prize.
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