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Winners of a school-wide art contest are presented with their awards at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 5, 2022. The contest is held annually by the Yamaguchi Trucking Association to showcase students’ favorite truck drawings in grades kindergarten through 2nd grade. This year, the ceremony was held by the School Age Care center, which offers a variety of group and individual activities such as before- and after-school childcare and summer camp programs for children ages 5-12. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by LCpl. Isaac Orozco)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Isaac Orozco

Artists in Training: School Age Care personnel award winners of school art contest

12 Apr 2022 | Lance Cpl. Isaac Orozco Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni School Age Care (SAC) Center personnel hosted an art award ceremony sponsored by the Yamaguchi Trucking Association on April 5, 2022. The ceremony recognized M.C. Perry Elementary School students and winners of the September 7, 2021 art competition.

The art competition is hosted annually at local Japanese elementary schools by the Yamaguchi Trucking Association, which also provided the resources and parameters for the event. The association hosts this competition to increase interactions and strengthen relationships between the on- and off-base communities.

The competition was open to all students at M.C. Perry Elementary School, and asked students to draw a concept for their “ideal truck”. Drawings featured imaginative designs that mixed many different shapes and colors to make creative concepts that were still grounded in reality. Examples included a purple “lollipop truck”, that was adorned with lollipops, flowers, and a huge smile towards the front of the vehicle; another drawing was a “unicorn truck”, that had a distinctively longer shape than the rest of the drawings with horns sticking out of the top of vehicle.

The winners of the competition had their picture taken at the end of the ceremony, and their work will be displayed at multiple locations on base and throughout the city of Iwakuni. Out of the many students who participated, seven students were chosen to have their work recognized by the school.

“It’s super cool”, said Michael Rhodes, the School Age Care Director and one of the main coordinators of the event. “The kids like being able to say, ‘look what I did’ and brag to their friends.”

Although the Yamaguchi Trucking Association could not have more in-person involvement this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, SAC personnel were able to conduct the ceremony within their building. The students, all in grades K-2, were invited to the ceremony, during which they were awarded special plaques commemorating their achievement. Everyone from teachers, fellow students, civilians, and active-duty service members, will have the opportunity to see what the children created as their work is displayed across the installation and the city of Iwakuni.

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