12 Elementary School Students Earn Top Honors in 21st Annual Anti-Tobacco Poster Contest

Contact: Robert Israel
781-434-7110 
risrael@mms.org

Waltham, Mass. – June 5 -- Twelve Massachusetts elementary school children have earned top honors in the Massachusetts Medical Society and Alliance’s 2016 Anti-Tobacco Poster Contest, a program designed to make young people aware of the dangers of tobacco and smoking. This year’s contest marked the 21st annual competition and attracted some 4,200 entries from students in grades 1 through 6 throughout the Commonwealth. 

The competition asks students to create an original poster that ties in with certain themes for their grade. The themes by grades are: Grades 1 and 2: Show how tobacco is bad for your body; Grades 3 and 4: Show how using tobacco affects other people; Grades 5 and 6: Why I won’t start.  Four entries are selected in each category, and the winning entries are chosen on the basis of originality, artistic merit, and relevance to the theme for the grades.

This year’s honorees:

Grades 1 and 2

Joseph Lekakos, Grade 2, Academy Avenue School, Weymouth; Rijul Gupta, Grade 2, Floral Street School, Shrewsbury;  Britney Young, Grade 2, Ditson Elementary School, Billerica; Mia Tonnello, Grade 2, Fred Murphy School, Weymouth.

Grades 3 and 4

Lily Donnelly, Grade 4, old Post Elementary School, Walpole; Peyton Knott, Grade 4, Leicester; Penelope Leung, Grade 3, St. Mary’s Sacred Heart School, North Attleboro; Aadya Deshmukh, (previously won contest in 2012/2013), Grade 4, John F. Kennedy School, Canton. 

Grades 5 and 6

Shalini Biju, Grade 5, Sherwood Middle School, Shrewsbury; Ashley Amershek, Grade 5, St. Bernadette School, Northboro; Laila Ricci, Grade 5, Wilson Middle School, Natick;  Charlotte Tedesco, Grade 6, Wilson Middle School School, Natick.

The winners were honored at a special June 2nd luncheon event at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, where they received a certificate from the Medical Society and a gift card for books as prizes. Winning entries will also be included in a 2017 calendar produced by the Medical Society that will be distributed to schools, pediatricians, and family physicians across the Commonwealth.

Presenting the awards were James S. Gessner, M.D., President of the Massachusetts Medical Society; Ulku Akyurek, M.D., President, Massachusetts Medical Society Alliance; and Alan Ashare, M.D., President of the MMS Committee on Student Health and Sports Medicine. 


The Massachusetts Medical Society, with more than 25,000 physicians and student members, is dedicated to educating and advocating for the patients and physicians of Massachusetts. The Society, under the auspices of NEJM Group, publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, a leading global medical journal and web site, and NEJM Journal Watch alerts and publications covering 13 specialties. The Society is also a leader in continuing medical education for health care professionals throughout Massachusetts, conducting a variety of medical education programs for physicians and health care professionals. Founded in 1781, MMS is the oldest continuously operating medical society in the country.

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