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Drug awareness campaign

Health Unit recognizes winners in student poster competition

SIMCOE, ON, DEC. 3, 2007 – The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit teamed up with Alvy the dragon last week to honour students who scored big in a drug awareness poster competition open to Grades 4, 5 and 6 pupils in both Haldimand and Norfolk counties.

Alvy, the Lung Association’s mascot dragon for the Lungs are for Life Program, presented certificates for “outstanding and creative” posters to Norfolk students Brianne Cleave and Tim Weber of West Lynn Public School in Simcoe. They captured first and second place respectively in the Grade 5 category. Katie Barber of Simcoe’s Elgin Avenue Public School took home third place in that category.

In Haldimand, winners were Sabrina Campanella, Mackenzie Chaisson and Jessica Sheldrick, all of Notre Dame Catholic School in Caledonia, who swept first, second and third place respectively in the Grade 6 category. The school’s Tayte Acciaccaferro and Sara Lemire took second and third place respectively in the Grade 4 category, while Jarod Nettagog of St. Michael’s Catholic School took home first place in that category.

The contest, developed by the Health Unit, was conducted in conjunction with Drug Awareness Week, held during the third week of November.

The poster contest ran from mid-October to Nov. 16 to raise awareness within the schools around the dangers of drug use. Posters had to be the students’ original work and reflect the theme of health effects associated with alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.

“It is important to start prevention messaging young,” said the Health Unit’s Michelle Pasichnyk, a Health Promoter with the Substance Abuse Prevention Program. “The contest encouraged students to think about the risks associated with drug use and to brainstorm alternatives and strategies to remain drug free.”

One hundred and fifty students participated in the two-county contest. The first-place posters from each of the three grades will be reproduced and distributed to all elementary schools in the area.

Media contact: Michelle Pasichnyk, BSc, MPH, Health Promoter, Substance Abuse Prevention Program, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, 519-426-6170 Ext. 3274. Email: michelle.pasichnyk@hnhu.org