UNION — Whether it’s playing softball or practicing karate or cuddling with a teddy bear or enjoying a stack of pancakes with a side of bacon, the 5th grade art students at Foster Park Elementary School know there’s better things to do in life than use drugs.
There are four 5th grade classes at FPES and each class on a separate day studies art in Amy Truitt’s Art Class. In recent years, the students in Mrs. Truitt’s class — along with their counterparts at the county’s other elementary schools — have used their talents to create posters with anti-drug and anti-bullying messages which are submitted to the Union County Solicitor’s Office Anti-Drug/Violence Poster Contest sponsored by Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett.
The winning posters are printed on calendars distributed for free in the county. The winning artists are recognized by Brackett during a ceremony at Kirby’s Cake Shoppe with each young artist receiving a copy of their work, a certificate, and a $50 Walmart gift card.
The calendar and the posters that serve as its cover and monthly art, recently inspired the parent of a student at FPES to approach Truitt about having the students in her classes draw anti-drug posters, this time for the SCWorks office on Main Street in downtown Union.
“One of the parents of a student works there,” Truitt said Thursday afternoon. “She emailed me and asked if my students could participate. She’d seen the calendar we do each year for the Solicitor’s Office which has an anti-drug, anti-violence and making good choices theme to it. She asked if we could make posters with similar themes.”
And that’s what they did and the results are now on display in the front windows of the SCWorks office where people going in and out of the building or just passing by can see the anti-drug messages the young artists seek to convey.
Each 5th grade class studies art with Truitt on a different day and on Thursday its Mrs. Hughes’ class which studies art. During art class with Mrs. Truitt this past Thursday, the students of Mrs. Hughes’ class discussed the posters they’d drawn, the messages they wrote, and the reasons they chose that particular anti-drug message.
Miya Mitchell said that the message of her poster is “How To Keep The World A Better Place, Don’t Use Drugs.” She said she chose that message because “I think people doing drugs, it won’t keep them healthy.”
Luke Harris said that the message of his poster is “Don’t Be A Monster, Don’t Do Drugs.” He said that he chose that message because “When I’m done with my homework, I play a video game called Mine Craft which has monsters in it.”
Nyla Smith said the message of her poster is “Knock The Drugs Out Of The Park.” She said chose that message because “I play softball.”
Paiscience White said the message of her poster is “Don’t Do Drugs, Eat Pancakes And Bacon Instead.” She said she chose that message because “I like breakfast time and eating pancakes.”
Malazia Booker said the message of her poster is “Be Soft Not Hard, Don’t Do Drugs.” She said she chose that message because “I like teddy bears, they’re soft and I don’t like sports.”
Caden Inman said the message of his poster is “Don’t Let Drugs Control You.” He said he chose that message because “If you use drugs it makes you act different and your children will look at you like a monster.”
Damian Brannon said the message of his poster is “Kick Drugs Out Of The Way.” He said he chose that message because “I like karate.”
Carthy Stevens and Aaron Booker worked together on their poster and they said the message of their poster is “We Black Out Drugs.” They said they chose this message because “our favorite sea animal is the octopus.” They said the octopus they drew on the poster is spraying out black ink to “black out” drugs.
Blake Alexander said that the message of his poster is “Don’t Do Drugs.” He said he chose that message because “Drugs can mess up your body and health.”
For more about the importance of anti-drug efforts in Union County see upcoming editions of The Union Times and online at our website (www.uniondailytimes.com) and our Facebook page.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.