The Houston Independent School District Police Department has announced the winners of the third annual Police Appreciation Week art contest.
Fifth-grade artists were encouraged to showcase their talents with the department’s K-9 unit as the theme. Participants also explored other themes, including the importance of law enforcement and the different types of police officers.
Ceasar Bravo of Scroggins Elementary took first place with his depiction of a K-9 alongside his handler. A helicopter and patrol car are featured in the background of his drawing, done in colored pencils and markers.
“It took about four days,” said Ceasar, as his win was celebrated by classmates and officers from HISD, Metro and the Harris County Sheriff’s Department. “I liked coloring the K-9 the most.”
Ceasar and his classmates received a special delivery of pizza sponsored by Crime Stoppers of Houston. The students also had had the opportunity to ask officers questions and meet K-9 Bret from the sheriff’s office.
Scroggins Elementary art teacher Vanessa Deyoung said contests are a good way to give her students a feeling of accomplishment while showcasing their creative talents.
“It’s exciting,” Deyoung said. “It draws attention to how important the arts are.”
Each year, the contest winners’ names are released during Police Appreciation Week to help students visualize the work performed by police officers and teach them more about careers in law enforcement. Second- and third-place winners Lauran Morales and Jennifer Vasquez, both from Ketelsen Elementary, will also be treated to a pizza party and have a chance to meet with a K-9.
HISD Sgt. Mercedes Martinez-Lopez says she loves bringing her job into the classroom.
“What I enjoy most is interacting with the kids,” Martinez-Lopez said. “They don’t always get to see the positives that we do with this job, so it gives us an opportunity to set a positive image.”
Art Contest Winners:
Ceasar Bravo, Scroggins Elementary
Lauren Morales, Ketelsen Elementary
Jennifer Vasquez, Ketelsen Elementary