NJ 4th Grade Students Featured at Statewide Prevention Artwork Showcase


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       



Matt Scuteri
Media Coordinator
Office: 973.467.2100, ext. 24
E-mail: matt@drugfreenj.org


Madelyn Weinstein and Joseph DiSpirito, center, are pictured with (l-r) her grandmother, teacher, and mother, Kerry Gizzi, Barbara Reynolds, and Heather Adams, Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, Douglas W. Schoenberger, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Public Policy for Verizon New Jersey, and Joseph’s parents, Anthony and Andrea DiSpirito.  

(NEWARK) – Over 8,000 fourth grade students from across New Jersey participated in the Fourteenth Annual Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey/Verizon New Jersey Design a Fourth Grade Folder Contest.  The students from fourth grade classrooms across New Jersey were challenged to create peer-to-peer substance abuse prevention messages. The theme of the contest was “Fun Things to do Instead of Doing Drugs.”

The artwork of 30 finalists was on display at the Newark Museum’s Billy Johnson Auditorium during a ceremony honoring the finalists and announcing the two grand prize winners: Joseph DiSpirito of Saint Leo the Great School in Lincroft and Madelyn Weinstein of Woodrow Wilson School in Neptune City. DiSpirito and Weinsten’s peer-to-peer substance abuse prevention message and artwork will be featured on 35,000 folders that will be distributed to schools throughout New Jersey in September 2013.

“These fourth graders from around the state are setting tremendous examples for others to follow,” said Douglas W. Shoenberger, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Public Policy for Verizon New Jersey.  “With their creativity and enthusiasm, they are to be commended for delivering compelling messages through their artwork to other students about enjoying a healthy life without drugs.  Thanks to The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, this contest helps children and teens understand that there are alternatives to drugs that are fun and rewarding.”

“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 Angelo M. Valente, executive director, Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.

Best known for its statewide anti-drug advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication.  To date, more than $70 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history. Since its inception the Partnership has garnered 120 Advertising and Public Relations Awards from National, Regional & Statewide Media Organizations.