“Wow,” said several students in Lisa Foley’s art class Monday morning. They had just learned that their classmate, Caitlin Kim, had received $1,000 for placing first in an art contest.
Caitlin, a 10-year-old in the fourth grade at Hunters Woods Elementary School, took home $500 of the award, while the other half was donated to her school.
Celebrating its 75th Anniversary, the American Academy of Pediatrics conducted the nationwide art contest, attracting more than 1,300 entries, including Caitlin’s. A third-grader at the time, Caitlin submitted her entry last summer. In October, Caitlin, an Oakton resident, heard that her art had received the first place award in the grade 3-5 category.
“It was cool,” said Caitlin of winning the award. Her entry was a picture of a young girl looking upward through binoculars and seeing several views of healthy living.
Last month, Caitlin was recognized at the 2005 AAP National Conference and Exhibition at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. During the conference, AAP President Carol Berkowitz presented the $500 check to Caitlin.
“There’s lots of ways to be healthy,” said Caitlin, describing her inspiration for her entry. “[My picture] shows that people can be healthy in lots of different ways.”
Doing art for fun, Caitlin admitted that she was surprised to find out she won.
“We were just ecstatic,” said Christina Kim, Caitlin’s mother. “We’re very proud of her.”
Kim said they heard about the contest from Caitlin’s art instructor at Young’s Art Studio. “We were totally shocked,” said Kim. “We had no idea that she had a chance because it was a national competition.”
Caitlin’s talents, however, are well known at school. “She’s an excellent art student,” said Foley, who has taught Caitlin for two years. “She’s extremely hardworking and she always goes above and beyond.”
Foley said that because of Caitlin, the school’s art department now has the opportunity to think about funding art projects and supplies that wouldn’t normally be available.
Caitlin, who’s still enjoying her win, said she still hasn’t decided what to do with her award money