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St. Leo 4th Grader's Anti-Drug Poster Wins Top Prize in Statewide Contest

HIs artwork will be reproduced on folders to be distributed to fourth graders next year.

Joseph DiSpirito, a fourth grade student at Saint Leo the Great School, Lincroft, was named the grand prize winner of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey/Verizon New Jersey’s Design a Fourth Grade Folder Contest.

Jessica Uraga, a fourth grade student at Harmony School, Middletown, and Sophia Gallo, a fourth grade student at New Monmouth, were also among the 30 finalists honored. 

Over 8,000 fourth grade students from across New Jersey participated in the 40th Annual 'Design a Fourth Grade Folder' Contest. 

On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, fourth grade students were recognized for their creative peer-to-peer substance abuse prevention artwork with the theme, “Fun Things To Do Instead Of Doing Drugs” at an awards ceremony held at the Newark Museum.

Madelyn Weinstein of Woodrow Wilson School in Neptune City was the co-grand prize winner and she, along with DiSpirito, will have their peer-to-peer substance abuse prevention artwork featured on 35,000 folders that will be distributed to schools throughout New Jersey in September 2013.

“These young students from around the state are setting tremendous examples for others to follow,” said Angelo M. Valente, executive director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. 

"Their artwork will help other children and teens understand that there are alternatives to drugs that are fun and rewarding, he said. 

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,” explained Valente.

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