Winners of the Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition's "Choose a Clear Mind" poster contest have been named as part of April's Alcohol Awareness Month activities.
Winners were chosen from each fourth-grade class in Ohio County's nine elementary schools after they completed a prevention education program with a focus on tobacco, alcohol and marijuana use. The students were challenged to make a creative poster that illustrated the quality of life one can have without the influence of substances.
The three top winners are Andrew Glass of West Liberty Elementary, Emma Conners of Bethlehem Elementary and Mecca Collins of Woodsdale Elementary.
West Liberty Elementary School student Andrew Glass is the top winner in Ohio County for the “Choose a Clear Mind” poster contest. He is shown with school counselor Gretchen Gill. The top three winners’ posters will be displayed in recognition of April’s Alcohol Awareness Month.
The winners for each school are Krista McCardle of Middle Creek, Kali Donahie of Elm Grove, Colin Beabout of Warwood, Audra Ream of Steenrod, Ashley McCarthy of Ritchie and Ezaria Kenebrew of Madison Elementary.
The winners' work will be featured in an advertising campaign.
"The average age of the first use of alcohol is 12 in Ohio County," said coalition member Martha Polinsky. "You want to talk to children before they're 12. ... It seems young, it really is, but you want to talk to them before they're in that situation."
Polinsky said Ohio County Schools officials are very supportive of prevention education, citing the efforts of the "Above the Influence" club at Wheeling Park High School and the implementation of the "Too Good for Drugs" program in several area schools.