DOWNEY - Downey High School's Visual Arts Department is currently locked in a tight Clorox Co.-sponsored grant contest, "Power A Bright Future," with 397 other high schools and programs across the nation.If it wins, Downey High will be awarded a grant prize of $25,000. It will be used, says Visual Arts teacher Yvette Puente, to provide students in all six department classrooms with a portable iPad lab and updated computer technology. This will give the students an opportunity to create art digitally using art-related apps as well as traditional methods, and will enrich the students' experience in such areas as drawing, painting, design, sculpture, animation, and photography - all in new and innovative ways, she says. To win, however, the department needs additional help from sources other than the traditional ones. These traditional sources have been the whole student population as well as staff, whose efforts on behalf of the department have so far, says Puente, been "awesome." To this end, the department is appealing to the local and surrounding communities to cast their votes of approval for the department's program. Clorox is in its fourth year of awarding grants in seven categories-four based on votes, and three based on merit. The nomination with the most votes overall will receive a $50,000 grant. The nominations with the most votes in the Play, Create, and Explore categories will each receive a $25,000 grant. Clorox will then review all nominations and pick one from each category based on merit to award a $25,000 grant in each category. Downey High is competing in the Create category. As things stand today, it has maintained a strong Top 3 ranking. According to Puente, "Our biggest competition right now are high schools in Connecticut and in Vista, CA." With the community's backing, the department is hoping the support of the community will vault it to first place. Puente says her third-grade daughter's school in Hacienda Heights won a Clorox grant last year and this spurred her on to take a lead role in nominating Downey High for a grant. She says the department's real goal is to "cater to the different ways students learn by incorporating new and exciting ideas that will inspire them." Puente says voting for Downey High's Visual Arts department is very easy. You can actually vote twice a day. The first method is by texting 2134pbf to 95248 once every 24 hours (message and data rates may apply). The second method is by voting once a day online, by logging on to PowerABrightFuture.com and looking for Downey High School in the Create category, and click on Vote. Puente urges everyone to vote twice a day. She says you can also help with simple acts like the ff.: *Posting on Facebook to encourage your friends and family to vote; *Tweeting the link to Downey High's voting page so your followers can vote; and *Sending an email to your family and friends informing them about the contest and telling them how to vote. The contest ends Dec. 19.
********** Published: November 29, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 33