By STEVEN NALLEY
Representatives from Mississippi Public Broadcasting surprised Ward-Stewart Elementary student David Jelinek Tuesday with a prize package and party for earning third place in MPB’s statewide Holiday Card Contest.
Maggie Stevenson, MPB early childhood director, said the contest accepted submissions from children between the ages of 4 and 12 statewide in September and October. She said David won one of five awards statewide, including two honorable mentions and first, second and third place.
“The actual winner gets their artwork on our (Christmas) card that’s sent out to legislative officials, state agencies and friends of MPB, supporters throughout the state as well as around the country that we send out the card to, and it’s advertised with the name of the child and the school on the back, and their age,” Stevenson said. “We advertise (the contest) through parents and kids and various media outlets, including newspapers (and) media on our air, as well as radio.”
While David’s artwork will not appear on MPB’s official Christmas cards, MPB did give him a set of custom Christmas cards featuring his artwork to send to family and friends, Stevenson said. It’s part of a prize package valued at more than $25, she said, with second-place and first-place winners receiving prize packages worth more than $50 and $100, respectively.
“We want to encourage their creativity and kind of foster that development,” Stevenson said, “so we provide art materials (in the prize packages) so they can continue to draw and also to understand eventually how they can have a career in art and drawing and even cartoon work, or even working with animation for television.”
David, 9, is the son of Bohumir Jelinek and Veronika Jelinekova, and he tied with Caroline Leonard of Ocean Springs for third place. David said he was excited to earn third place, and he enjoys drawing in sketchbooks routinely. He said he creates new drawings as often as three times a week.
“(I want to be) a designer, an architect (or) an exterior architect,” David said. “I really like making stuff and designing.”