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Rusk Elementary students earn top prizes after competing in state poster contest

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT – April 16, 2024) — A pair of second-grade students at Rusk Elementary School are celebrating a big accomplishment. 

Sophia Salas won first place in the Texas Poison Center Network’s Poison Prevention Poster Contest. Her classmate, Mia Manzo, won second place at the competition. Both students were surprised and excited about their accomplishments.  

“It just felt good that I was able to at least win something, and it just ended up being first place,” Salas said. “My poster showed the number you are supposed to call if you think someone was poisoned from things like black widows, scorpions, rattlesnakes, cleaning supplies and medication.” 

The students said they got their ideas from online research and knowledge gleaned from the daily lessons of their teacher, Josie Gonzales.  

“Competitions like these remind us that we need to read all labels on medicine and to always check what it does because some pills are bad for you even though some are good,” Manzo said.  

The Poison Control Center hosts the competition each year during National Poison Prevention week, which is observed each third week of March. The organization said its goal is to increase awareness of the Texas Poison Center Network and to educate the public about poison prevention.