Sequim youngsters score big in contest

Children’s artwork covers nearly all the wall space at the Dungeness Early Learning Center and the students take pride in their work.

“That’s a tree and my house and me … and it’s raining,” explained 4-year-old Duke Underwood, pointing to a picture displayed high on a wall near the school’s entrance.

The preschoolers’ enthusiasm for artwork prompted the center’s co-founder Diane Franklin to enter several pieces of work in an art contest held by Washington State Child Care Resource and Referral Network.

“They had opened up a new building and needed artwork for it, so they held a contest,” Franklin explained.

Much to the surprise of Franklin and the other teachers, the children won first prize — $200 in gift certificates from a learning materials catalog to buy things for the students.

For one of the pieces that collected a prize, Franklin taped a large piece of butcher paper on the wall and allowed the children to take turns and use their imaginations to draw on a portion.

“I sent a piece of that in to the contest,” Franklin said. “The children loved collaborating on that piece. It was wonderful.”

Other entries included paintings, drawings and houses made of popsicle sticks.

“We’ve got some very talented kids,” Franklin said, adding that she’s encouraging the children to help choose materials from the catalog. “We’re so proud of them.”

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