Schoolchildren get creatively happy in PTA art contest

Three generations of women came together for the annual Reflections art competition program. Samantha Turner-Richardson, a 10th-grader at Buchholz High School, looks up at her work titled "I Am Really Happy When I'm One with Nature," while her mother, Kelly Richardson, and grandmother, Emily Sagers, admire her work, which was chosen to go on to state competition.

ALLISON LABINE/Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, January 29, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 at 11:17 p.m.
More than 100 Alachua County students from preschool through 12th grade drew on their memories and experiences and expressed "I'm Really Happy When ... " via writing, painting, photography or music in this year's Reflections arts recognition and achievement program.
The competition, sponsored by the Alachua County Council of PTAs, not only gives children the opportunity to be recognized for original works of art, but also increases community awareness of the importance of arts in education.
Judges Rachel Gibas, educational coordinator for School and Family Programs at the Harn Museum of Art, and Joan Sigafoos, a retired school principal, chose district winners from the 110 school entries.
These creations are now entered in the statewide competition, with results from that contest to be announced in April. Alachua County has yet to have a state winner.
Once entries reach the state level, the state PTA organization selects entries to submit to the National PTA. Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit are recognized at the annual National PTA Convention and displayed in a virtual gallery on the National PTA's Web site,
In its more than 30-year history, millions of students around the country and in American schools overseas have drawn, colored, photographed and written music to themes they themselves choose: "Dare to Discover ... ," "If I Could Give the World A Gift ... ," "Imagine That ... ," and "Exploring New Beginnings ... ."
The 2004-2005 theme is "A Different Kind of Hero ... .
The following students were named district winners for this year:
  • Visual arts: Primary (grades K-2) - Diana Oum, Emily Weigle, James Harbilas; intermediate (grades 3-5) - Alexandra Golden, Barry Banks, Courtland Bailey; middle (grades 6-8) - Ben Wood, Hee-Jong Jang, Liz Condo; high school (grades 9-12) Olivia Donda, Samantha Turner-Richardson, Leah Morrison.
  • Photography: Primary - Shelby Bellah, Zachary Jones, Bahja Allen; intermediate - Veronica Prem Das, Mariah Fiori, Kevin Jasinksi; middle - Kristin Magrini, Tiffany Herring, Sarah Bushnell; high school - Hayley Boles, Elisabeth Cloutier, Marissa Wheeler.
  • Literature: Primary - Amaleah Mirte, Florence deAsis, Steve Han; intermediate - Nicki Myers, Rachel Mandell, Calvin Long; middle - Charlotte Bolch, Jessica Butt, Alisha Kinman; high school - Stacey Lundell, Savannah Anderson, Mika Turim-Nygren.
  • Music: Primary - Christian Novokowsky, Hao Zhou; middle - Jose Oyarvide, Alex Alsop (no middle or high school winners).
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