Paynter Elementary Student Is Regional 'Holiday Wish' Art Contest Winner

Emma Kraus' wish was chosen to appear on Edgar Snyder & Associates' 2012 holiday card.

Emma Kraus summed up her holiday wish with just one word—peace. And now, the 10-year-old from W.R. Paynter Elementary School in Baldwin Borough will share that wish with others on Edgar Snyder & Associates' 2012 holiday card.

Emma is a winner in the 9th Annual Edgar Snyder & Associates "My Holiday Wish" Coloring Contest. Out of more than 700 entries, Emma's holiday artwork was chosen as one of just five works to appear on the law firm's holiday greeting, and she receives a $100 gift card.

Emma's design features festive mistletoe and colorful ornaments hanging above the word "peace."

Janet Cooley, Emma's art teacher at W.R. Paynter Elementary, surprised Emma with the news that she was a winner in the regional contest.

"We took her to the office in the morning, not telling her why, and made a live announcement on the intercom with the news," Cooley said. "She returned to her classroom and was greeted by applause from her classmates."

Emma's eyes lit up when she heard the big announcement.

"Fifth grade is my lucky year!" she said.

Cooley was just as excited as Emma was.

"My first class told me I was a little 'off the hook' that day since I was so happy for her!" Cooley said.

A panel of judges from across western Pennsylvania selected the contest's winning artists on Nov. 1. Judges included Ashley Andrykovitch of the Carnegie Museum of Art, Tamara Pavlock of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Myrna Rosen of Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and Kristi Schaefer and Scott Wallace, both of SWZ Design.

"The students showed talent and creativity, but what is most impressive is that these young artists have such mature and unselfish holiday wishes," said Attorney Edgar Snyder in a news release. "You'd expect requests for game consoles, toys and puppies. Yet, we received wishes like peace, hope, food and happiness."

Added Cooley, "I think it is fun for students to enter contests because they anticipate winning, and it is a way for them to express themselves through art. It is also a good lesson for them to learn that it isn't just about luck. It's about how hard work can pay off and that they can feel such a sense of accomplishment when they win."

This is the first time that Paynter Elementary has submitted entries in the law firm's coloring contest. Cooley said that her class plans to participate again next year.

"I want to thank Edgar Snyder & Associates for helping to promote the art of children through this contest," Cooley said.

Emma is joined by four other western Pennsylvania students who were also recognized for their holiday card submissions. Réka Götz, 9, of Marshall Elementary School in Marshall Township was the grand prize winner. Edgar Snyder & Associates donated $1,000 to Réka's school and awarded her a $250 gift card. And Réka's artwork will appear on the front of the firm's holiday card.

The three other runners-up joining Emma on the back of the card are Bryson Huwar, 8, of Clarion-Limestone Area Elementary School in Clarion County, Maggie Knisely, 10, of Claysburg-Kimmel Elementary School in Blair County, and Carter Mates, 6, of Rumbaugh Elementary School in Westmoreland County. Like Emma, Bryson, Maggie and Carter also receive $100 gift cards.

Click here to view all of the winning artwork.

Edgar Snyder & Associates is a Pennsylvania law firm representing injury victims and people with disabilities, with offices in Altoona, Ebensburg, Erie, Johnstown and Pittsburgh.


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Tom Barchfeld November 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM
It should be Christmas card, not holiday card!
cc November 30, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Yes it is Christmas Cards along with Merry Christmas. This is the time of Christ birth and why we have the Christmas Season.
John Williams November 30, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Do you love Holiday Eve and Holiday Day? We have Holiday dinner and go to Holiday services. We open Holiday presents by the Holiday tree. I don't sing Holiday carols that well though. Oh, Holiday Tree, oh, Holiday Tree. Time for Holiday shopping.
Billee November 30, 2012 at 09:21 PM
If "I'm not incorrect... the word Holiday actually means " Holy Day " :) All the children did a beautiful job with their entries. Thanks for sharing Bob. Congratulations Emma.
NE12Ukid December 01, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Congrats to Emma on her artwork and her prize. Nice that there are so many holidays this time of year, seems like everyone is celebrating something. That one ornament on Emma's artwork does look like a dreidel, doesn't it? Maybe she was trying to incorporate more than just the Christian Christmas celebration in her PEACE! card. Would be nice if everyone could be at PEACE at least for the HOLIDAY season.


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