718th CES hosts Earth Day art contest
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Children from elementary, middle and high schools on Kadena participated in an art contest hosted by the 718th Civil Engineer Squadron environmental office in observance of Earth Day this spring.
Approximately 70 students from schools around the base submitted Earth Day themed artwork during the month-long submission period. From those entries, 10 were chosen by the environmental office from each of three categories to be voted on by the general public.
The categories were coloring pages submitted by kindergarteners, posters submitted by elementary school students and found art pieces submitted by middle and high school students. The voting took place through Facebook, where the three works from each category with the most "likes" were declared the winners.
The winners received educational prizes related to biology, technology and other sciences such as a terrarium habitat, a telescope, solar-powered robots and an e-book reader.
"I feel like this is a great way to get people thinking about taking care of our planet," said Danicza Lopez, 718th CES environmental engineer. "I joined the Earth Day committee because I thought it was a great way to get kids involved and get them thinking about what they can start doing now to preserve our resources."
The three kindergarten-level winners were students of Bob Hope Primary School's Deborah Fussell, who agreed that the competition was a fun way to get the base's younger residents excited about Earth Day.
"They're never too young to learn how to appreciate our Earth and how important it is to take care of it," Fussell said. "That's why I felt like it was important for my class to participate in the competition."
Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and is observed annually on April 22, when events are held worldwide demonstrating support for environmental protection. The environmental office's art contest is one of several events planned in celebration of Earth Day, including a video contest and an on-base jungle cleanup.
"We take so much for granted, especially here in Okinawa surrounded by the water and beautiful beaches," Lopez said. "We have the opportunity to enjoy it and I want future generations to have that same opportunity."