Cranford Students Are Finalists In Statewide Drug Prevention Folder Contest

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NEWARK – This past school year, 7,000 fourth grade students from all parts of New Jersey participated in the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey/Verizon Design a Fourth Grade Folder Contest.

On April 13, 30 fourth grade finalists were recognized for their creative peer-to-peer artwork with the theme “Fun Things to do Instead of Doing Drugs.” Lucian Mahadeo, a fourth grade student attending Brookside Place School; Julia Saginaro, a fourth grade student attending Livingston Avenue School and Robert Schork and Jacqueline Smith, both fourth grade students attending Orange Avenue School were four of the 30 statewide finalists honored for their outstanding artwork at a ceremony held at Verizon’s headquarters in Newark.

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“We applaud these young people from around the state who came up with very entertaining and creative ways to spend time doing the right things in life and their ideas can be emulated by all,” said Dennis Bone, President of Verizon New Jersey. “The Partnership plays a vital role in this state helping show children and teens that there are alternatives to drugs and those alternatives are fun, rewarding and fulfilling.”

“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,” says Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director, PDFNJ.

The 2011 grand prize winning entries are Armando Alvarado of Belleville School #7 in Belleville and Olivia Yalden of Howard C. Johnson Elementary School in Jackson. Alvarado and Yalden’s peer-to-peer substance abuse prevention messages will be duplicated on 25,000 folders that will be distributed to every school in New Jersey, beginning in September 2011.

Jacqueline Smith (center), a student attending Orange Avenue School in Cranford was one of the 30 statewide finalists honored for their outstanding peer-to-peer drug prevention artwork sponsored by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey/Verizon’s Design a Fourth Grade Folder Contest with the theme “Fun Things to do Instead of Doing Drugs” at a ceremony held at Verizon’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. Joining Smith are sponsors of the contest, (from left to right) Douglas W. Schoenberger, Verizon’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.


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