The second annual Street Smarts Poster Contest Awards Ceremony was held recently at the San Ramon Community Center to announce and honor the winners of the competition for students to express their thoughts on traffic safety.
In the kindergarten through second-grade division, Patricia Militante of Country Club Elementary was the grand prize winner; Danielle Morelan of Sycamore Valley Elementary was first-prize winner; Selena Lugosi of Golden View Elementary won second prize; and Sarah Joo of Sycamore Valley Elementary took third.
In the third- through fifth-grade division, Katie Weinstein of Sycamore Valley Elementary was the grand prize winner; Adam Hurd of Country Club Elementary was the first-prize winner; David Eddy of Tassajara Hills Elementary won second prize; and Cody Geiger of Montair Elementary took third.
Regardless of the outcome, however, all of the contest participants were eagerly on hand to see if they had been selected as winners.
"We had a full room," said Terry Koehne, community relations coordinator for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. "There was a lot of energy in the room."
Local celebrities and politicians also took part in the festivities. Mark Curtis, the morning news anchor of KTVU Channel 2, acted as the Master of Ceremonies. Mayor Karen Stepper of Danville, Mayor Abram Wilson of San Ramon, Supervisor Mary N. Piepho, and Bob Pack, the founder of the Troy and Alana Pack Foundation, delivered speeches to the crowd.
The contest, which was created last year, asked students to create a poster that promoted traffic awareness. They were encouraged to create catchy traffic safety slogans that resonated with pedestrians.
"The purpose of Street Smarts is to get into the minds and hearts of community members who ride bicycles, scooters or walk," said Koehne. "We try to use the kids' creativity to get our messages out there."
This year, the contest generated a great deal of buzz on school campuses across the district. More than 175 students submitted posters that ranged from being serious to being funny. The large pool of entries made it particularly difficult for the judges to determine the winners, they said.
Prizes included IPod Nanos, gift certificates at Target, and digital cameras. To view the finalist's artwork, log on to www.streetsmarts-srv.com.
At its last meeting, the Danville Town Council recognized Lisa Ward, the principal of Los Cerros Middle School, which won the grand prize for the "Be Smart, Be Safe, Be Reel" video contest. The winning team consisted of eighth-graders Ari Eastman, Lauren Ha and Stephanie Jaber. The finalist team, also from Los Cerros, was Gunita Singh and Brittany Hatter, led by Katharine Kusch.
The videos were judged as finalists in the "Street Smarts Mini Short" category at the 2006 Danville Children's International Film Festival held May 19-21.