The 22nd annual Kids Fight Drugs poster contest judging took place Wednesday, with 739 submissions.
This year’s theme for the artwork is “The Best Me Is Drug-Free!” and judges struggled to determine the 12 winners and 38 honorable mentions because of the extraordinary amount of talent that was displayed by southern Santa Barbara County kindergarten through eighth-grade students.
Three overall winners and nine grade-level winners were selected from the array of artistic expression.
» First place — Irais Pachecho, age 9, fourth grade, Isla Vista Recreation & Park District
» Second place — Lauren Pitchford, age 13, eighth grade, La Colina Junior High
» Third place — Johana Cortes, age 11, sixth grade, Isla Vista Recreation & Park District
Each year, dedicated teachers promote a drug-free lifestyle in the community by encouraging their students to enter the poster contest. This year, the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse will honor Marika Tabar through the Santa Barbara’s Fighting Back Against Alcohol & Drug Abuse program with the 2012 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, with 290 submissions from her students. She continues to be a major proponent of this contest and of Red Ribbon Week.
“Year after year these students get excited about the contest,” Tabar said. “They see their friends appearing in the calendars year after year. This is a really big deal for them. Yesterday, they were already asking me if I knew who the winners were.”
This contest occurs simultaneously with Red Ribbon Week and is crucial for sparking discussion between students and the adults who influence them about the dangers of drugs.
These winners will be recognized at noon Saturday, Oct. 20, in the Mural Room at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. The master of ceremonies will be KEYT news anchor Paula Lopez, and the team of judges will acknowledge the winners with certificates of recognition from the City of Santa Barbara and with savings bonds provided by The Bank of Santa Barbara and CADA board members.
A winner for each grade level and the first-, second- and third-place overall winners have their artwork featured in a calendar distributed to all the South Coast schools, which are paid for by the Santa Barbara Police Department, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
— Lauren Haines represents the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse.