Jackson-Milton art project sends a message about heroin epidemic - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Jackson-Milton art project sends a message about heroin epidemic

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NORTH JACKSON, Ohio -

Jackson-Milton art students could have chosen anything to paint on their snow-plow for ODOT's "Paint-a-Plow" contest, but they wanted to send a message.

"This is the number one issue within our state and within our nation: the heroin epidemic," said Jackson-Milton art teacher Katelyn Amendolara. "We thought it would really grab people's attention and really put it out there."

"Jackson-Milton, we are a very strong community, so we're trying to figure out how we can impact and help out," said junior Sierra Fife.

The mural shows the grip this epidemic really has on the state, the effects, as well as the alternative.

"On the left side, it shows a darker path. It has the heart line that begins and then it flatlines out onto the right side," said Amendolara. "It shows the state going up in smoke."

Some of the other schools around the state just go with a school logo or something, but the students here wanted to tackle a more serious subject. Last year, it was texting and driving. That one earned them first place in the region, a crown they are looking to defend this summer. 

"It's hard to see family members or friends of people you know struggling with this problem, and it's such a huge issue in our area," said sophomore Mackenzie Grope. "So, we wanted to get it out in the community that you could choose the right path. You don't have to go toward the drugs, you could go to the happier side."

The result is a work of art, as well as a conversation piece. Students learned some of the statistics from this epidemic while they painted, walking away with far more than a simple art project.

The snow plow will be on display this summer at the Canfield Fair and will be judged this August at Kent State University. The winner from the regional round will move on to the state level in Columbus.

After a winner is crowned, the snow plow will be put into service this winter, a plow with a purpose. 

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