McNary Student Honored in Statewide Art Contest

image: artwork by briseida mendoza

Briseida Mendoza, a fourth grader from McNary Heights Elementary School, was honored during a reception held at the Oregon State Fair in Salem on Sunday, August 27. Mendoza’s artwork was chosen from over 2,000 submitted to the AITC Calendar Art Contest. The contest celebrates Oregon’s many agricultural and natural resource goods, and is sponsored annually by Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation (AITC).

This year, 2,163 students from 32 counties entered artwork featuring Oregon agriculture and natural resources into the contest. The winning art is published in a school-year calendar and distributed statewide. The contest is open to all Oregon public, private, charter and homeschool students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Since Oregon produces over 220 different commodities, students have a wide variety of subjects from which to choose.

Mendoza said, “I chose to draw watermelons because I love to eat them in the summer. It relates to Oregon because in Hermiston, OR they grow watermelons.”

“The calendar contest is a great project for teachers and students. It gives them an opportunity to teach and discuss about the bounty and beauty of Oregon agriculture and incorporate art into their classrooms,” said Jessica Jansen, AITC Executive Director and coordinator for the calendar contest. Each month of the calendar features one of the winning student’s art and each day of the year has a fact about agriculture.

Besides having their artwork published in the calendar, each winning student received a $50 award and certificate. The artwork of all 13 winners will be on display during the Oregon State Fair which runs through Labor Day in Salem. Calendars are free to Oregon teachers and can be ordered at

Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation (AITC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students grow in their knowledge of Oregon’s agriculture, environment and natural resources. AITC provides free educational lessons, activities and resource materials to Oregon educators to support the integration of agricultural themes into academic subjects such as math, science, history and language arts. For more information visit the AITC website at

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