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Holiday cards are a staple this time of year. Families, businesses, even municipalities, send out mass amounts of mailings, wishing everyone “Season’s Greetings” before the end of the month.
Most of these cards are generic in nature, purchased at a local store and sent out to everyone on a certain mailing list without a second thought.
Cheshire Public School District, however, puts a little more thought into their traditional mailings.
Each year, students in the district’s elementary schools take part in a competition of sorts. Those who choose to participate are asked to draw a winter scene in their class, which is then sent on to the Central Office for review. When one is selected, it is then turned into the front cover for the Cheshire School District Holiday Card.
The scene can be of anything, as long as it is winter-themed and stands out. It adds a personal touch to the holiday tradition, and involves students by encouraging them to be creative.
This year it was Doolittle School fourth-grader Eva Hu whose drawing stood out from all the rest.
“I really liked it, but I didn’t think it was going to win anything,” said Hu earlier this week. “I was shocked.”
On Wednesday, Dec. 8, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Greg Florio, along with other school administrators, entered Hu’s class early in the morning. Since one of her classmates had been honored in November with a Superintendent's Award, Hu automatically thought they must be there for her. However, it was Hu’s name that Florio called.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” the youngster admitted with a smile. “I remember he said I won, and ‘good job.’ I don't remember what he said after that.”
During the small ceremony, Florio showed the class the drawing Hu had done, then presented her with one of the cards that would be sent out all across Cheshire and beyond. It was a special moment for the quiet girl, and one that she thoroughly enjoyed.
“It was really nice,” she remembered. “I was really excited when he gave me the card.”
Hu’s drawing is a serene winter scene, with snow-covered trees in the background and a pond down below. In the middle, the focal point of the drawing, is a deer, its antlers protruding from its head as it is shown leaning down to get a drink of water.
What makes the drawing so unique is that a reflection of the deer is shown in the water of the pond, as if another deer is reaching up from it to touch noses with it's clone.
Hu came up with the idea last year while working on another project where she drew an elk, and she thought the scene could work for the Holiday Card.
“I thought it was a good idea so I used it,” she remembered. “It didn’t take me long to draw, maybe five minutes.”
The drawing was done in Michael Juliano's class and submitted for review.
According to the superintendent’s office, seven drawings were considered in the final round after staff members narrowed the field from the many different entries. Ultimately, they decided upon Hu's creation.
The card is sent to numerous people in town, from Board of Education members to other school and Town officials. It is also sent to state officials, such as the Governor, meaning that Hu's drawing will be viewed by some of the most influential people in state politics.
Knowing that such a select group of people will see her art, Hu admitted to being “happy.”
“I feel really good,” she said. “I feel really good that I won something.”