Riverside County Office of Education announced that three Desert Sands Unified School District  (DUSD) students are award recipients in the first week of the six week “Art Connects” Virtual Student Arts Competition.

Three DSUSD Students Winners in Poetry Contest

ArtConnects Poetry: Ethan L. Harry Truman Elementary Desert Sands USD. TK-2nd 2nd Place Winner

A total of 525 submissions from every school district in Riverside County participated in the poetry competition that began the Art Connects program. Ethan from Harry S. Truman Elementary School placed second in the TK-2nd grade level; River from Gerald Ford Elementary School received honorable mention in the TK-2nd grade level, and Evan from an unidentified DSUSD high school received honorable mention in the 9th-12th grade category. (Poems are attached).

“The outpouring of creative expression from Riverside County’s youngest citizens is truly representative of the power of the arts for all ages as a tool to process the complexities of the changes happening in our world—both internally and all around us,” said Louisa Higgins, Arts Administrator, at the Riverside County Office of Education. “We look forward to seeing how students bring life to the different themes over the coming weeks in the visual arts, dance, theater, media arts, and music.”

Three DSUSD Students Winners in Poetry Contest

ArtConnects Poetry: Evan Desert Sands USD. 9th-12th Honorable Mention

Art Connects is intended to help students channel their creativity during mandatory school closures due to COVID-19. Riverside County Office of Education launched Art Connects on March 24 as a virtual student arts competition open to all students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade in Riverside County.

“Despite the closure of schools, students in Riverside County are continuing to create, dream, and express their ideas through their own unique talents and abilities,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Judy D. White, Ed.D., at the launch of the program. “Artistic expression is a healthy way for students to process their feelings, exercise their creative abilities, and expand their understanding of a changing world. These expressions have the power to uplift others and bring meaning to their life and the lives of others during challenging times.”

For each of the six weeks, students can submit their contributions at www.rcoe.us/art-connects. Winners will be announced in each grade level category approximately one week after the submission deadline for each week’s competition.

  • 1st place award: $75 gift card from RCOE Foundation, plaque, and certificate of participation
  • 2nd place award: $50 gift card from RCOE Foundation, and certificate of participation
  • 3rd place award: $25 gift card from RCOE Foundation, and certificate of participation
  • Honorable mention

Certificate of participation “The roster of distinguished judges looking to support student artists includes Riverside County artists, poets, choreographers, actors, writers, educators, filmmakers, and musicians,” said Riverside County Arts Administrator, Louisa Higgins. “Judging criteria will include creativity/originality, connection to the weekly theme, artistic composition, and overall impression.”

Art Connects Competition and Submission Schedule:

  • Week Two (April 1-7):  Competition closed. Winners to be announced soon.
  • Week Three (April 8-14): Medium: Dance. Theme: Expressions of Kindness
  • Week Four (April 15-21):  Medium: Theater. Theme: Expressions of Persistence
  • Week Five (April 22-28): Medium: Media Arts. Theme: Expressions of Connections

• Week Six (April 29 – May 5): Medium: Music. Theme: Expressions of Hope

Additional details on Art Connects are available by clicking here  or by contacting Louisa Higgins at lhiggins@rcoe.us.

Lead photo caption: ArtConnects Poetry: River M. – Gerald Ford Elementary, Desert Sands USD. TK-2nd Honorable Mention

Image Sources

  • Poetry Contest Winner: DSUSD