Six new refrigerators were awarded to three area students and their respective schools last week by the Alabama Power Foundation Brighter Minds Initiative and the company’s appliance sales and service division. Whirlpool was a co-sponsor of the contest which is part of the two companies’ efforts to support the arts in area schools.
Zion Chapel second grader Abby Carnley won first place in her division, Chloe Mejia, a fourth grader at Harrand Creek Elementary in Enterprise won for her category and Gracie Fell, a first grader at Newton Elementary won for her category.
With a STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics theme—theme, kindergarten through fifth grade public school students from Coffee County, Dale County, Daleville, Ozark and Enterprise were invited to enter drawings in the “Refrigerator Art Contest.” The youngest students were asked to include numbers in their pictures, students in grades two and three were asked to draw an invention they imagined, and fourth and fifth grade students were required to draw a famous scientist and/or their discovery or invention.
Katie Bolton, public information representative with the utility company, said, “The purpose of this whole thing is to inspire the kids to pursue arts and culture and further their education in that as they go throughout life…We just really wanted to help promote the arts in these kids and help establish those foundations at an early age so hopefully, they will continue down that path of being creative young minds.”
Coffee County Schools Superintendent Terry Weeks said arts are important for students and opportunities such as the refrigerator art contest is another way expand students’ horizons and helps create the drive in students to succeed, pursue the arts and showcase their talents. “We are just really proud to be a part of this,” he said.
Winners were chosen by a panel of judges from local and state arts and education communities along with one Alabama Power employee. Five student finalists from each grade category was selected and those 15 students attended a recognition event Sept. 16 at the Daleville Cultural and Convention Center. Of the 15, three overall winners were chosen and they were awarded two brand new side-by-side refrigerators—one for their school and one for their home.
There were more than 500 pieces of art submitted for the contest.