Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) recognized Mitchell Middle School student Samantha Kenaston for being the South Dakota winner of the Council for Art Education’s flag design competition. Johnson entered a statement in the Congressional Record highlighting the award, as well as recognizing March as Youth Art Month.
“I am pleased that Youth Art Month activities in South Dakota and across our country are highlighting the importance of art in our children’s education,” Johnson said. “I am proud of Sam and the many talented students in our state.”
Full text of the Congressional Record Statement from Johnson below:
Mr. President, today I rise to recognize Youth Art Month and to congratulate Samantha Kenaston of Mitchell, South Dakota, on designing the winning state entry for the national student flag design program. Each March, the Council for Art Education sponsors National Youth Art Month. I appreciate the importance of arts education for children of all ages and am pleased with the work being done across South Dakota to promote and spotlight student artwork.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of National Youth Art Month. This month, schools across our country will partner with local businesses and communities to support the arts and display students’ art work. In South Dakota, the Dakota Discovery Museum in Mitchell, the Aberdeen Recreation and Culture Center, and Presentation College in Aberdeen are just a few of the partners that will be hosting galleries and shows to display the artwork of South Dakota’s many talented student artists.
This is the first year South Dakota has participated in the Youth Art Month flag design competition. Students from across our state designed flags to creatively represent the essence of our great state. I congratulate Samantha “Sam” Kenaston on designing the winning flag for the inaugural South Dakota Youth Art Month flag design competition. Sam is a seventh grade student at Mitchell Middle School. According to Sam’s teacher, Ms. Renee Berg, Sam is a talented student and Art is her favorite class. Sam also has a love for animals, which is often reflected in her artwork, and she aspires to become a veterinarian when she grows up.
Sam’s winning flag features a drawing of a pheasant, the state bird of South Dakota. Sam’s flag will be displayed on March 9, 2011 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. to honor the winners of the state flag competition, and her flag will then be displayed in Seattle, Washington at the National Art Education Conference.
As a member of the Senate Cultural Caucus, I recognize the importance of promoting arts and humanities in our communities and schools. I am pleased that Youth Art Month activities in South Dakota and across our country are highlighting the importance of art for our children’s education. I am proud of Sam and the many talented student artists in our state.