Fifth grader wins $500 for school by drawing her favorite teacher

December 19, 2012 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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The next time your child picks up a paper and some crayons and starts drawing, it could lead to an influx of cash. That’s what happened to Kayla Torres, a fifth grader at P.S. 172 in Sunset Park, who won a cool $500 for her school by drawing a picture of her favorite teacher.

Kayla’s drawing of Daphna Gutman was the first prize winner in a “Draw My Favorite Teacher” contest sponsored by Storagemart, the nationwide storage company. The contest was open to Brooklyn students.

Sarah Little, interactive marketing director for StorageMart, came to P.S. 172, on Fourth Avenue and 29th Street, on Dec. 14 to present a check to the school.

Actually, Little brought two checks with her. The first runner up in the contest was also a student from P.S. 172. Third grader Alexa Zagal won $100 for her drawing of her favorite teacher, Desiree Ross.

The checks were presented at a special school assembly held that morning. Not only did the talented girls win money for the school with their artistic skills, but Kayla’s first place finish also meant that P.S. 172 would receive $3,000 worth of school supplies, courtesy of StorageMart.

A matter of only two votes separated the grand prize and first runner up, according to Little. Jack Spatola, principal at P.S. 172, said he was proud of all of the participants.

Students at public schools across Brooklyn were invited to participate in StorageMart’s contest by submitting drawings of their favorite teacher and a few sentences about what makes their favorite teacher the best. Kayla’s drawing was selected as a finalist from hundreds of entries. The winner was selected by a public vote which took place online.

In addition to the check for the school, Little also presented Kayla with a printed poster of her winning drawing. Little announced that Kayla won a pizza party for her entire class, to which the students erupted in cheering.

“I chose Ms. Gutman because she’s patient with us and every lesson she shows us, she does it clearly, and she’s one of the teachers that doesn’t like to scream,” Kayla said.

The school supplies Storagemart donated to the school included tambourines, books, craft supplies, and modeling clay.

Like Kayla, Alexa received a printed poster of her drawing of her teacher.

StorageMart held an identical contest in Oakland, California and awarded Marcelo Granda, a kindergarten teacher at Glenview Elementary School, with a check.

Little said she is already planning the 2013 “Draw My Favorite Teacher” contest and making this an annual event.

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