CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced 10 students from central and southeastern West Virginia as regional winners of the office’s sixth Kids Kick Opioids contest, a competition designed to spur creativity and raise awareness of prescription painkiller abuse.
Regional winners are Mylie Taylor and Lillian Starcher, of Clay County Middle School; Maddie Baker and Peighton Griffith, of Mountain View Elementary & Middle School in Monroe County; Aeris Hobbs and Laken Gooch, of Summersville Middle School in Nicholas County; Mallory Koerber, of Marlinton Elementary School in Pocahontas County; Alicia Meadows and Geonna Taylor, of Trap Hill Middle School in Raleigh County; and Alyssa Niday, of Summers County Middle School.
“These entries demonstrate the immense creativity and talent of our students,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “In some instances, their designs also reveal the heartbreaking situations that some students experience at home. Drug abuse continues to needlessly claim too many lives and our hope is the entries from these talented students will bring greater awareness and change.”
The Attorney General received a total of 2,798 entries from 2,876 students at 78 middle and elementary schools across West Virginia. The submissions included a mix of drawings, poems and other designs aimed at promoting awareness.
Judges recognized winning entries from 79 students overall. Those designs will be displayed in the State Capitol in the fall.
The statewide winner and runner up will be announced soon. The statewide winning entry will appear in newspapers across West Virginia as the Attorney General’s next public service announcement.
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 combated 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.