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Coloring contest winners help raise awareness of disabilities

From left are Isabella Jedra, Miss Ohio Teen USA; Elise LeHew, Spanish Immersion; Oliver Hawes, Woodland; Alau’la Collins, Prospect, and Julianna Heichel, Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen.

      Three Mansfield City Schools students are winners in the 26th annual Richland County Third-Grade Coloring Contest as part of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March.

      They are Alau’la Collins, Prospect Elementary; Elise LeHew, Spanish Immersion, and Oliver Hawes, Woodland Elementary.

      Seventeen winners were selected from among 504 entries from 17 schools in the contest sponsored by Richland Newhope/Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities. One winner was selected from each school.

      Students were asked to color a picture featuring two children, one of whom uses a walker. The message on the picture simply said “Together We Have No Limits.”

      Winners were recognized Friday during a pizza party at Newhope’s Early Childhood Center. In addition to parents and school officials, special guests included Juliana Heichel, Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen, and Isabella Jedra, Miss Ohio Teen USA. Both are Lexington High School students.

      “We’re grateful that our local schools see the value in continuing to participate in this contest and awards luncheon,” said Jane Imbody, Richland Newhope community education director. “For more than two decades now, this activity has allowed Richland Newhope to reach hundreds of young people and their families with an awareness message that has helped to foster acceptance and integration of individuals with disabilities in our communities.”

      Contest winners received certificates and gift bags. During the program they had an opportunity to participate in simulated disability activities.

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