CHARLESTON -- Eighth grade classrooms across West Virginia have received an extra study tool this year to help students learn about the state's history and culture.

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, The Arnold Agency and Morgantown Printing and Binding have teamed up to produce, print and distribute West Virginia First, a large classroom poster based on a project originally developed by Steptoe & Johnson to showcase the ways West Virginia and its citizens excel.

Touting facts as diverse as West Virginia's distinction of having the world's largest sycamore tree, located in Webster Springs, to the fact that the player profile used in the official NBA logo is West Virginia native Jerry West, the poster features 64 interesting facts and firsts about the Mountain State.

"As West Virginians, it is our challenge to focus on the positive and to do our part to spread the word about the unique attributes of our state and its people," said Betsy Spellman, Steptoe & Johnson's director of client services. "As these young adults become tomorrow's leaders, we hope this knowledge will inspire them to take pride in West Virginia and the accomplishments of its citizens."

Eighth graders completing the Golden Horseshoe exam will receive a commemorative West Virginia First booklet, a 20-page publication of the same 64 WV Firsts depicted on the posters.

Steptoe & Johnson initially produced the booklet as a pocket-sized piece to share West Virginia's unique facts with clients, friends and colleagues. Attorneys use the promotional booklet as a tool to spur discussion and leave a memorable impression.

The West Virginia First booklet distributed to Golden Horseshoe test takers is a compilation of two smaller versions of the booklet the firm produced in 2005 and 2006.

"West Virginia First is a natural complement to the West Virginia History curriculum," said West Virginia Department of Education Social Studies Coordinator Regina Scotchie. "This booklet encourages students to learn and share facts about West Virginia and its people."

To view all 64 West Virginia First facts or to nominate additional West Virginia facts, visit www.steptoe-johnson.com.

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