Caitlin Tan Published

Mercer County Student Wins 'Kids Kick Opioids' Art Contest


The fourth annual West Virginia art and writing contest aimed at raising awareness of prescription painkiller abuse has ended, with a student from the southern region named as the winner.

Fourth grader Taylor Wright of Lashmeet/Matoaka Elementary School in Mercer County was selected as the statewide winner in the ‘Kids Kick Opioids’ contest, according to a press release from Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. The southern coalfields, including Mercer County, have been impacted especially hard by the epidemic.

The winning design is a drawing, showing people trapped inside a pill bottle with the message, “Don’t bottle up your family over your addiction.” It is a reminder that opioid abuse goes far beyond a person using drugs, the statement said.

The entry was chosen from among more than 3,500 students statewide and will appear in newspapers across West Virginia as part of Morrisey’s public service announcement.

Runners up were Rivesville Middle School eighth grader Dakota Niebergau in Marion County and St. Paul Catholic School eighth grader Mia Pietranon in Weirton.

Regional winners will have their work displayed at the state Capitol in Charleston this fall.