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BURLINGTON — The Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism (BCDR) and the Burlington Area School District (BASD) partnered during Black History Month to offer local area students the opportunity to participate in an art and essay contest.

Black History Month art contest
A team of representatives from Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism, the Burlington Area School District, and the City of Burlington met to review entries to the annual Black History Month Contest. – Credit: BASD

These works of art are currently on display at The Coffee House at Chestnut & Pine, 492 N. Pine St., in Burlington, now through April 15.

The contest encouraged Burlington students to reflect on Black history and the impact of race and diversity on our community and nation. This is the third year the organization has hosted the contest.

A total of 116 students from all grade levels used their creativity to submit original works of art and writing using the theme “I’m Me and I’m Magnificent: Turning our differences into superpowers.”

BCDR provided each school within BASD with a copy of the book I Color Myself Different by Colin Kaepernick as a potential resource.

According to the President of BCDR, Laura Bielefelt, this contest gave “all students an opportunity to explore the power in their differences.”

Bielefelt pointed out that the difference could be a person’s race or a person who wears glasses. The theme of superpowers resonated with students.

“They can relate to needing to respect each other’s differences,” says Bielefelt.

Black History Month art contest
Credit: BASD

Black History Month art contest winners

Black History Month art contest
Emma Klaves’ creation won a grand prize. – Credit: BASD

Grand prize winners, who will each receive a pair of AirPods are: Ashley Gottfredson
(Project WIN), Emma Klaves (Dyer – 5th grade Montessori), and McKalya Slowiak (Dyer 6th grade Montessori).

Black History Month art contest
McKalya Slowiak’s essay took home a grand prize. – Credit: BASD

The following winners at each grade level will receive a Cravings gift certificate:

  • 1st Grade: Ashlynn Collins (Dyer), Landon Huges (Dyer), Henry Bratz (Dyer), Aubree O’Dea (Dyer)
  • 3rd Grade: Nyah Claudette Neddef (Waller)
  • 4th Grade: Theo Madden (Dyer), Christopher Amaya (Dyer), Ivy Hamilton (Dyer), Opal Traxinger (Dyer), Haley Ehlen (Cooper), Laura Rowntree (Cooper)
  • 5th Grade: Ella Kring (Dyer)
  • 6th Grade: Maggie Rowntree (Karcher)
  • 7th Grade: Lydia Rowntree (Karcher)
  • 10th Grade: Alex Imhof (FRC), Spencer Kopling (FRC)
  • 11th Grade: Savanna Hill (FRC), Ally Alderman (FRC)
  • PAC House: Cassidy Dorn, Keila Willms

In addition, Melissa Statz Classroom (4th Grade, Dyer) won for the classroom submission and earned a pizza party.

The team of judges included Bielefelt, Mayor Jeannie Hefty, Jeanne Heyer, Amy Krueger, Jacob Merseberger, Andy Naber, Jill Oelslager, and Jackey Syens.

Black History Month art contest
A student’s entry in the competition covers many facets of differences. – Credit: BASD

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