Portsmouth student wins statewide fire safety poster contest


PORTSMOUTH – Representatives from the Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office visited Portsmouth Elementary School on April 19, 2023, to congratulate 6th grader Abigail Charles for winning a statewide elementary fire safety poster contest.

Abigail’s poster was detailed and informative, according to Shawn Whitt, a fire and safety educator from the Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office.

“We take the whole state of Ohio, and she won out of her grade in the whole state of Ohio. We like her poster for several reasons, but her main message was ‘get out and stay out’ and her picture was very detailed. She had several other small messages like having working smoke alarms, having a meeting place outside, and closing the doorway when you exit,” Whitt said.

According to studies, he said, sleeping with the door closed can make a difference of 1,000 degrees and afford you an additional 3-5 minutes to escape your home in the event of a fire.

Whitt awarded Abigail with a certificate and a new smoke alarm, and her artwork will be featured on the State Fire Marshal’s website and educational programs.

“Every September we participate in the fire safety poster contest and we usually have a lot of building-level winners. Since I’ve been teaching for the last 24 years, Abigail is my third state winner. We are very proud of her. She did a very good job,” said Elementary Art Teacher Jill Kolar.

Abigail’s mother Jennifer Charles said she was proud of her daughter’s achievement.

“I wasn’t surprised. She is an artist, but Abi is very detailed and thorough in everything she does. If she has a project it has to be perfect, no matter what it is. It is always super detail oriented and perfect, so I wasn’t surprised but I was super proud – especially to win at the state level,” Jennifer Charles said.

For more information about Portsmouth City Schools, visit them online at www.portsmouthtrojans.net, or follow the school’s page on Facebook.

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