Holiday Spirit

Southwestern Elementary School Holds Design Contest

The Southwestern Elementary School held a holiday design contest among sections of the school. Each block designed the common area outside of their classrooms and each class decorated its door. Pictured is the entire third and fourth grade on Friday. On Dec. 14, the school will hold its Polar Express Day. P-J photos by Jordan W. Patterson

Southwestern Central Elementary School students got into the holiday spirit early.

Students began decorating the common areas outside of their classrooms last week in association with a school-wide competition among grade K-5. Students also decorated the doors of their classrooms. This is the first year the school participated in such an event.

The theme of the contest was inspired by the “Polar Express” movie and book. Each section of the school featured a different theme to base the students’ common area decorations on. The third- and fourth-grade students designed their section as if it was Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. Others featured different themes related to the holidays.

Students and parents were asked to donate supplies to provide for the collaborative contest.

Judges were walking around Friday scoring each decorated section.

Winners will receive a private viewing of the “Polar Express” in the makerspace room and open concessions.

Ashley Beaver, third grade teacher, said she enjoyed seeing the faces of the students as they walked into the common area to see the final product of the decorations.

“It’s really been a lot of fun especially to see all the kids’ faces to see it all lit up today was really neat. Some of them don’t get the opportunity to decorate to this extent and play apart,” Beaver said.

Beaver said Shannon Sauder, AIS math teacher and head of the makerspace – the collaborative student work space, created the contest with the goal of highlighting student collaboration and creativity. She said the students remained positive throughout the process and came up with design ideas for the project.

“They actually had some pretty unbelievable ideas,” Beaver said.

From adding a misfit toy table and an assembly line to using cotton to mimic snowfall, the students provided the framework for the overall design.