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CHARLESTON — A Cabell County sixth-grader earned the top prize in the West Virginia American Water’s sixth annual “Protect Our Watersheds” Art Contest, according to a news release.

Danika Rakes, a student at Barboursville Middle School, earned the grand prize for her artwork depicting the importance of watershed protection. The company received nearly 100 entries from fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders across the state.

Lily Rhodes of Charleston Montessori School in Charleston placed first, Kolbey Craghead, a student at Sun Valley Elementary School in Mercer County, placed second, and Jaycee Bowen of Barboursville Middle School placed third. The four students will receive local bookstore gift cards for their winning entries.

“This annual program has continued to produce incredible artwork that showcases students’ understanding of our watersheds across the state,” said Bradley Harris, external affairs specialist for West Virginia American Water. “Our team is proud to be leading the way in West Virginia on educational initiatives like our art contest that encourages students to be future stewards of our environment and help protect our drinking water sources.”

As the grand prize winner, Rakes will have her artwork featured on “bloomer cards” distributed across the state by West Virginia American Water. Bloomers are seed-filled cards that, when planted and tended, produce a variety of wildflowers.

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