4 local students win statewide art competition designed to help others avoid Lyme disease

PENNSYLVANIA — Four local students took home top honors in the 2024 “Protect. Check. Remove. Lyme Disease Student Art Competition.”

The contest, which was put on by the Departments of Health (DOH), Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Environmental Protection (DEP), promotes awareness of the prevalence of ticks and encourages people to enjoy the outdoors safely.

>> New tool from Pennsylvania Department of Health shows where ticks are prevalent

“Spending time outdoors is important for our health, and we encourage Pennsylvanians to enjoy the outdoors safely as often as possible,” said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen. “This student art competition offers a hands-on, creative opportunity for students and their families to learn how to prevent tick bites and Lyme disease. The contest is part of the Shapiro Administration’s commitment to promoting healthy behaviors and preventing diseases.”

More than 250 students in first through sixth grades across the Commonwealth submitted posters and videos to the Department of Health in March 2024. The following local students won their categories:

  • Posters
    • Third and fourth grade winners
      • 1st place: Destrey Jones, Greene County
      • 3rd place: Bekett Blouir, Greene County
    • Fifth and sixth grade winner
      • 1st place: Kaitlyn Courtwright, Greene County
  • Videos
    • Third and fourth grade winner
      • Paul Cooley, Allegheny County

“Tick bites can ruin a good time out in nature so it’s important to take commonsense measures to protect yourself, your family, and your pets,” said Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary for Field Operations John Ryder. “Lyme disease has been found in ticks in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, and other tick-borne illnesses are being found every year.”

The winning artwork will be on display in the Pennsylvania State Capitol near the cafeteria outside the Senate Fountain Area through the end of May.

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