Middle school students win Lions Club Peace Poster contest

By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
East Haddam - posted Mon., Nov. 21, 2011
Peace Poster contest winner Bethany Powell (left) with runners-up Jeff Soboleski, Courtney Lanning and Nate Kiley.  Lions Club representative Linda Bradshaw (back row, left) and NHRMS art teacher Claudia Mazotta presented the artists with their awards.
Peace Poster contest winner Bethany Powell (left) with runners-up Jeff Soboleski, Courtney Lanning and Nate Kiley. Lions Club representative Linda Bradshaw (back row, left) and NHRMS art teacher Claudia Mazotta presented the artists with their awards.

For the past 20 years, the Lions Club International has sponsored a Peace Poster contest, inviting children from across the globe to depict their vision of world-wide peace in a work of art that is based on a particular theme. This year’s theme was “Children Know Peace.”

“It [the contest] goes all around the world. It gets them [the children] talking about peace,” said Linda Bradshaw from the East Haddam Community Lions Club. Her club has been sponsoring the contest locally since its inception, when they had about a dozen entrants.  This year, students at Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School, under the guidance of art teacher Claudia Mazzota, submitted 78 posters.

“They [the students] had to do everything, designing it themselves,” said Mazotta, who made the contest a class project.

The Lions, however, were faced with the even more difficult task of choosing a single winner. And this year’s top poster, depicting a circle of joined hands encircling a globe, was composed by eighth-grader Bethany Powell.

“I liked the pattern of people holding hands,” said Powell of her poster. This pattern, she said, represents “peace circling the Earth.”  Runners-up also receiving prizes were seventh-graders Nate Kiley, Courtney Lanning and Jeff Soboleski.

The next stop for Powell’s poster is the district contest, with a chance to proceed all the way to the international final, and the grand prize of attending Lions Day at the United Nations.


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