CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced artwork by students from central and southeastern West Virginia, who are regional winners of the office’s seventh Kids Kick Opioids contest, will be on display at the State Capitol building from Oct. 10-Oct. 17.
The artwork designs showcasing efforts to raise awareness of opioid abuse were created by Samantha Kennedy, of Clay County Middle School in Clay County; Brookelynn Neel, Sarah Arthur and Haylee Surface, of Mountain View Elementary & Middle School in Monroe County; Autumn Hively, of Hillsboro Elementary School in Pocahontas County; Mitchell Koerber, of Marlinton Middle School in Pocahontas County; and Lailyn Yost and Emma Crawford, of Ridgeview Elementary School in Raleigh County.
Artwork created by Kiley Ford from Rivesville Elementary & Middle School in Marion County, which was selected as this year’s statewide winner, along with statewide runners-up Evee Matheny from Lenore PK-8 School in Mingo County and Hailey Rogers also from Rivesville Elementary & Middle School, will be on display at the Capitol from Oct. 2 to Nov. 26.
“These entries demonstrate the immense creativity and talent of our students and shows the grim reality of the opioid epidemic and how opioid abuse can destroy lives,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Our hope is the work of these artistic students will bring greater awareness and change, and touch the minds and hearts of those who view them at the Capitol.”
Ford’s design also appeared as a public service announcement in newspapers across West Virginia. In addition, entries from Ford and the state runners-up can be viewed on the Attorney General’s website.
The Attorney General received a total of 2,347 entries from 2,450 students at 66 middle and elementary schools across West Virginia. The submissions included a mix of drawings, poems and other designs aimed at promoting awareness.
Kids Kick Opioids represents one of many initiatives through which the Attorney General has sought to combat West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate, including a lawsuit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that achieved sweeping reforms to the nation’s drug quota system.
The Attorney General also has fought the opioid crisis with civil litigation, multistate initiatives, funding to target opioid abuse, criminal prosecutions, new technology, engagement with the faith-based community and education.
The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy, West Virginia Association of School Nurses and the Capitol Police assisted the Attorney General in judging the public service announcement contest.