Environmental art
North Bergen student’s poster gets placed on DPW truck
by Hannington Dia
Reporter Staff Writer
Dec 03, 2017 | 2681 views | 0 0 comments | 98 98 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Edwin Ortez Arevalo, the grand prize winner of the North Bergen MUA’s “Go Green, Save Green” poster contest, with his entry on a DPW truck.
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As a recent immigrant from El Salvador, Edwin Ortez Arevalo is still learning how to express himself in the English language. But the eighth grader at the Robert Fulton Annex School is already well versed in expressing himself by crafting art.

Because of that, you'll be able to see his work on a local Department of Public Works truck. Arevalo has won the grand prize in the annual “Go Green, Save Green” poster contest from the North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority.

“I was working on this poster for like, 15 hours over two weeks, on all the ideas for the entry,” Arevalo said, standing before the DPW truck that will now carry his poster entry in the contest, after the awards ceremony at North Bergen High School Nov. 27. Arevalo also won an iPad.

Having come to the U.S. only two years ago, he dreams of using his artistic talents to become an architect.

Started in 2011, the “Go Green, Save Green” poster contest was created to teach students about the environmental and financial benefits behind recycling. Each entry had to feature the “Go Green” slogan, along with the student's recycling concepts.

At least 700 students from grades one through 12 in the town's elementary schools entered the contest, held this year from September to October.

Around 80 prizes were given out to first, second, and third place winners, runner-ups, and honorable mentions in four grade categories (1-3, 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12). First place winners earned Amazon's Kindle Fire 7 tablets. Second and third place winners earned $100 and $50 gift cards, respectively. Students who earned honorable mentions received $5 gift cards to the local Sole Pizzeria restaurant. Runner-up students received movie passes to the Columbia Park 12 Theater near Union City.

In addition, everyone who placed will have their entries displayed in the 2018 North Bergen MUA calendar.

The town funded the contest through grant money from its recycling efforts.

“This stirs great interest in the art program; it stirs great interest in recycling,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter, to the students at the award ceremony, shortly before the truck was unveiled. “Whatever we can do to save the environment is a plus,” he added.

Gabriella Delacruz, who recently placed first in another art contest by the Act Now Foundation Alzheimer’s Resource Center of New Jersey, was the third place winner for the 9-12 grade category. “I've won several art contests over my high school career, and it just feels really good to keep racking up things to put on my college application,” Delacruz said, after winning. “I really am excited to get into art school. I've been narrowing down my options. It's just really exciting to have more stuff to put in my art portfolio.”

Last year, Delacruz also placed third in NASA’s Langley Research Center Centennial Art Contest. “But for something local, this is my next best thing,” she said.

Victoria Raposo, who placed second in the Act Now Foundation art contest, won an honorable mention award for the high school grades in the Go Green contest.

“I feel like I'm getting better at my art,” she said shortly after her honor. “This is a way to recognize it, whatever chance I get.”

All the honorable mention winners can be seen at www.nbmua.com.

Hannington Dia can be reached at hd@hudsonreporter.com

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