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Contact: June Iljana
(916) 651-5692
e-mail: pubinfo.dbw.ca.gov

February 16, 2006

K-8 Students Honored Statewide for Boating Safety Artwork

The Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) has honored ten California students whose artwork won the 2006  “Safe and Wise Water Ways” poster contest. The students, from grades K-8, each received two $100 education savings bonds and a commemorative medallion, and their artistic creations are featured on the 2006 “Safe and Wise Water Ways” calendar. The Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) sponsors the annual contest to help educate young people on water safety.

“These students have illustrated boating safety lessons that are important for all Californians to learn, especially young people,” said DBW Director Raynor Tsuneyoshi. “Water-related incidents are the second leading cause of accidental death among people ages 4 to 19. We believe that safety lessons learned and practiced early stick with people throughout their lives.”

The winning artwork was selected from more than 2,400 entries. They were judged on a combination of theme execution and merit by a panel of judges including DBW staff, members of the media, representatives from the Department of Health Services, the Department of Water Resources, Sacramento Metro Fire Department, UC Davis Medical Center Partners in Prevention and Sacramento State Media Services.

The awards were presented by DBW during assemblies at each winner’s school. As winners’ entire classes submitted entries, each student in the class was given an achievement button and a copy of the calendar. Every winner’s teacher received a gift certificate to purchase educational materials for the classroom. Attendees at every assembly were also treated to the award-winning AquaSMART Live! puppet show and an interactive life jacket demonstration.

The contest is a classroom project designed around themes such as “wear a life jacket,” “keep our waterways clean,” “learn to rescue safely,” and “alcohol, drugs and boating don’t mix!” These messages echo concepts taught in the AquaSMART program materials available to educators for classroom use.

The lessons meet the California curriculum standards and are available for grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8. High school students are served by the AquaSMART Boating program for grades 9-12. Each year, the program reaches 350,000 students with messages about staying safe on and near waterways.

The winning artists are:
Kindergarten: Debbie Nitura, Taylor Skills Elementary in Stockton.
First Grade: Felix Diaz-Ocampo, Manuel Real Elementary in Perris.
Second Grade: Mai Nguyen, Trinity Lutheran School in Fairfield.
Third Grade: Lily Goff, City of Angels in Sherman Oaks.
Fourth Grade: Tenley Griffin,  Fort Washington Elementary in Fresno.
Fifth Grade: Ty Adibi,  Flying Hills Elementary in El Cajon.  
Sixth Grade: Andriana Ricchiuti, Fort Washington Elementary in Fresno.  
Seventh Grade: Alexandria Ayers, Beardsley Junior High in Bakersfield.  
Eighth Grade: Mikaela McLeish, Muirlands Middle in La Jolla.  
Honorable Mention: Jaime Fernandez, Calvert Street Elementary in Woodland Hills.
Honorable Mention: Jared Shen, Forest Park Elementary in Fremont.   

The “Safe & Wise Water Ways” contest was awarded the 2003 National Boating Education Advancement Award by the National Safe Boating Council at the 2003 International Boating and Water Safety Summit. Sponsors include Kawasaki, Yamaha, Radio Disney, the Southern California Marine Association and the Northern California Marine Association. For information about entering the contest next year, visit www.BoatSmarter.com. The winning pictures and the poster are available to download at http://dbw.ca.gov/PosterContest/.

The Department of Boating and Waterways promotes on-the-water safety and helps develop convenient public access to the waterways through programs funded by vessel registration fees, boating fuel tax dollars and boating facility construction loan payments.

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