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Student's anti-drug design appears on Seneca Valley shirts

A Seneca Valley School District student put her art skills to work to win a T-shirt design contest.

Evans City Middle School student Amber Barnyk’s design was a play on the phrase “see beyond the next 10 minutes.”

The slogan stems from the Reality Tour Drug Prevention Program presented annually by CANDLE Inc. for the past 10 years. It reminds students to take all the time they need to make the right decision when it comes to drugs, alcohol or risky behavior.

Bridget Miller, Evans City Middle assistant principal, said excitement is building for distribution of the T-shirts, scheduled for the end of this week. The distribution coincides with Red Ribbon Week, a national drug and alcohol awareness campaign held annually at the end of October.

“We love the design,” she said.

Students were encouraged to submit their drawings in September. Administration and CANDLE representatives chose the design.

All Seneca Valley students in sixth grade will receive a T-shirt that includes a space for the student to sign their shirt as their “I Promise” drug-free pledge. Students are encouraged to wear their shirts to school for a unified drug-free statement.

Norma Norris, founder and executive director of CANDLE, was enthusiastic about the student participation.

“It is always important to include students in a prevention message,” she said. “The T-shirt design depicts pride in their school and in their drug-free commitment.”

The Butler-based nonprofit founded in 2004 aims to provide consequence-driven, innovative, contemporary, cost-effective and replicable drug prevention education at the community level to educate parent and child together. The program uses the evidence-based Reality Tour featuring consequences, coping skills and interviews with law enforcement and youth in recovery. The acronym stands for Community Action Network for Drug-free Lifestyle Empowerment.

The next Reality Tour program in the district is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at Hope Lutheran Church, located at 8070 Rowan Road in Cranberry Township. It will place an emphasis on prevention of underage use of alcohol.

Register online at realitytour.org.