Kids do posters, essays, not drugs

By: Susan Belknap, The Press Tribune
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Reading 120 essays and reviewing 350 posters may seem like a daunting task but to the six members of the Roseville Emblem and Elks clubs of Roseville, it was just part of a day’s work. The essays and posters were part of an annual contest sponsored by the clubs as a part of a drug awareness campaign that recognizes students in the Roseville City School District for their good works. “I was pretty impressed,” said Emblem Secretary Barbara Ferreira. “We’ve been doing this contest since 1991. The kids were judged on the use of the theme we had this year and their originality.” Roseville City School District employee Katie Haupt was involved with the coordination of the program as well and said she was impressed with the amount of time many of the contestants put forth for the contest. “There was lots of individuality but they also all paid attention to the theme,” Haupt said. That theme, according to Ferreira was, “I have better things to do than drugs,” was personalized in each of the posters and essays the students entered in the contest. Out of the 350 posters submitted by students in the third through fifth-grade throughout the Roseville City district, three entries from 10 individual schools were recognized in front of family and friends at a dinner and awards ceremony hosted by the Elks and Emblem clubs at their lodge located on Brady Lane in Roseville. In addition, 12 students in grades six through eight from Crestmont and Buljan schools were honored for their essays that followed the anti drug theme. First place winners were awarded a $100 savings bond, second place students received a $50 bond and third place honorees were the recipients of a $25 gift card from Wal Mart. In addition a grand prize was awarded in both the essay and poster contest. Buljan sixth-grader Jake Young was the recipeient of third place for his school with his essay that described several examples of activities people could do instead of drugs. “My essay said basketball, musical theater and spending time with family are ways to keep from drugs,” Young said. Young’s mother, Meg, who is a teacher at Valley View School in Rocklin said she was proud of the work her son turned in. “I didn’t even know he was working on it,” she said. “I’m totally proud.” Daniel Rock, 11, a fifth-grader from Vencil Brown Elementary School took second place honors for his poster, which he said encouraged children and adults not to smoke. “It’s (taking drugs) is just not healthy. Instead of doing drugs people can go to the park and walk around,” Rock said. Kaseberg School Principal Karen was in attendance Monday night and said she’s glad the Emblem Club has sponsored the poster and essay contest. “This sort of thing just opens up the conversation with kids about drugs,” she said. “Many of our students who participated in the project this year did it as a home project.” The certificates and awards were presented by Elks President Troy Asher, Emblem President Elaine Johnson and Elks Drug Awareness Chairman Dick Gaspari. FIRst place essay winners read their essays to the audience including Buljan eighth-grader Matthew Mason who won the Judges award and a $200 savings bond. “I have love and happiness from my family and friends,” Mason read from his essay. “I don’t need drugs. Drugs are never the answer.”