8 Area Students Take Poster Contest Prizes

For his poignant drawing of a solemn preteen boy who urges abused children to “Break the Silence!” Van Nuys seventh-grader Michael S. recently won one of two grand prizes in the “Child Abuse Prevention--I Can Be Aware” poster contest.

Michael was among eight San Fernando Valley schoolchildren who won the contest, sponsored by ICAN Associates, the private fund-raising arm of the county Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect. In addition to winning $50 or $100 awards, the socially aware youngsters were personally congratulated via video by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Because of their affiliation with the HELP Group and Landmark West, schools that teach abused or mentally disabled children, a handful of the contest winners were not identified by last name.

Other Valley winners include the HELP group’s Sheila C., a Van Nuys 10th-grader; Fara S., a Van Nuys 10th-grader, and Leo S., a Van Nuys 12th-grader; the Landmark West’s Flynn H., an Encino fifth-grader, and the Oxnard Street Elementary School’s Claudia Marroquin, a North Hollywood sixth-grader. The Oxnard Street School’s Miguel Figueroa, a North Hollywood sixth-grader, and the HELP Group’s Tanya R., a Van Nuys 12th-grader, were also honored with the Lindsay Wagner award, named after the actress and child abuse prevention activist.


About 800 Southland students entered the poster contest designed to promote schoolchildren’s awareness of child abuse and child abuse prevention. The pool of applicants was winnowed by Los Angeles County Museum of Art docents before a panel of judges--including county dignitaries, art professionals and ICAN representatives--that chose two grand-prize winners and 12 winners.

“I think these pictures reflect a dramatically increased level of awareness about child abuse and promote a deep understanding of what child abuse really is, said Deanne Tilton Durfee, ICAN’s executive director.

The winning posters will be on display through June at the Los Angeles County Office of Education Gallery in Downey.