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Environmental poster wins state contest

Centre fifth grader to meet Governor Laura Kelly in Topeka

Staff writer

Getting motivated to enter Kansas Arbor Day Foundation’s conservation poster contest was simple for contest winner and Centre fifth-grader Anna Godinez Vinduska since there was a prize at stake.

“I like art and I’ll usually do anything with a prize,” she said. “What child wouldn’t say that?”

Anna’s reward for winning includes meeting Kansas Governor Laura Kelly in Topeka to plant a tree.

Her trip with classmates to Rolling Hills Zoo in Salina to receive her award March 28 was canceled last week.

This year’s theme was about why trees are important to Kansas’ ecosystem.

Having a theme was helpful because it provided a starting point, said classmate Jordy Raymer, who also submitted a poster.

“The theme of it helped out a lot,” he said. “You know what to draw so you’re not stumped there for a while.”

The contest was more than an art project, Anna said.

Participants had to research and write about types of trees that could help Kansas in different ways.

“That was really hard,” she said. “The only type of tree I know is a regular oak and that’s not specific enough. I had to do a lot of research.”

The research was difficult for Anna, but the science was easier because she enjoyed the art.

“In your mind you could think about the art sense, like what would be easier to draw,” she said. “You could find easy to draw trees and then find what kind of trees they are.”

The contest is more meaningful because only fifth graders are eligible, which guarantees no repeat winners, Anna said.

“Then the same person could probably take the same idea they had every year and they’d win every time,” she said.

Anna tried to use colors people were familiar with, specifically in drawing Kansas, which she made with a face. Her color scheme included the state in green, with sunflowers in brown and yellow for eyes, and a stalk of tan wheat for a mouth.

Jordy’s design featured a lumberjack chopping down a tree, and he said it was important to choose accurate colors.

“The ax blade can’t be yellow all of a sudden,” he said. “Then a lot of people would get confused.”

Gifted facilitator Clare Galle found out about the project in November but held off on working with students until January.

Having just two weeks to work on it was helpful because it meant they didn’t wait until the last minute, Anna said.

“I’m a procrastinator and I probably would have forgotten it,” she said.

Last modified March 19, 2020

 

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