Fifth-graders reflect on ‘Thanksgiving in America’ in annual art contest

For the past 69 years, the La Cañada Valley Sun has invited fifth-graders — who are learning about early American history in their local school classrooms — to explore the theme “Thanksgiving in America” through art in an annual Thanksgiving Art Contest.

The idea is to provide a creative outlet for kids to share what the holiday means to them, whether it’s honoring a spirit of togetherness or celebrating traditions and causes for gratitude: friends gathered together, a table fit for feasting, being American and watching football as a family.

Second place, General Excellence, Audrey Kim, Mrs. Kazak, Paradise Canyon Elementary.
(Courtesy of Paradise Canyon Elementary)

This year, 154 fifth-graders attending La Cañada, Palm Crest and Paradise Canyon elementary schools answered the call and shared their heartfelt, comedic and unique expressions of the Thanksgiving season with an appreciative Valley Sun staff.


We divided entries into five main categories: General Excellence, Best Humor, Most Patriotic, Best Turkey and Most Unique.

Third place, General Excellence, Angel Song, Mrs. Fuelling, La Cañada Elementary.
(Courtesy of La Cañada Elementary School)

Tena Ahn, a La Cañada Elementary School fifth-grader from Barb Drange’s class, received the top award this year for a hand-painted piece that encapsulated several contest themes into one beautifully rendered design.

Another memorably funny submission by Akhilesh Kumar from Jenny Franz’s class reimagined the Declaration of Independence from a turkey’s point of view.


Most Humorous, Akhilesh Kumar, Mrs. Franz, La Cañada Elementary.
(Courtesy of La Cañada Elementary School)

“When in the course of Thanksgiving events, it becomes necessary for turkeys to dissolve the bonds of hunger which have connected turkeys with people … a decent respect to the opinions of turkeykind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separation,” it proclaimed.

Congratulations to Tena, Akhilesh and all the other artists who participated in this year’s traditions.

Second place, humor: Emma Focardi , Mrs. Fuelling, La Cañada Elementary.
(Courtesy of La Cañada Elementary School)

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