A blue-eyed school bus flashing a grin and picking up two little girls at a bus stop might seem like a scene from Sesame Street.
Madeline Thornton, a second-grader at South Columbia Elementary School, holds up a copy of a winning poster she drew for the 2004 Georgia School Bus Poster Contest. Madeline now will represent Georgia in a national bus safety poster contest.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
For South Columbia Elementary School second-grader Madeline Thornton, it was a creation that won her an award in a statewide poster contest.
Madeline, 8, recently won the Georgia School Bus Safety Poster Contest, sponsored by the state Department of Education and the Georgia Association for Pupil Transportation, with her rendition of a living bus with the logo "flashing red means stop ahead."
The pupil acknowledged that her poster is a picture of her and her sister at the bus stop, even though she doesn't ride the bus to school.
Columbia County School Superintendent Tommy Price recognized Madeline's accomplishment at a Jan. 11 school board meeting and presented her with a certificate and $100 savings bond.
She now will represent Georgia in a national bus safety poster contest.
For most of her life, Madeline has expressed an interest in art. But it wasn't until a trip to Michigan to visit her grandmother and aunt two years ago that she said she began to hone her abilities.
While in Michigan, Madeline found a tracing book and used it to pass the time on the 15-hour car drive home, said Madeline's mother, Noelle.
"When we got back, she kept tracing out of it," Noelle Thornton said. "I finally told her to set it aside and draw what she sees."
Madeline used the same technique in creating her award-winning poster, South Columbia Elementary art teacher Ivey Coleman said.
Madeline Thornton's winning poster for the 2004 School Bus Safety Poster Contest. Madeline depicted a living bus with the logo "flashing red means stop ahead" to win.
Photo by Donnie Fetter/Artwork by Madeline Thornton
"She pieced together things she saw in clip art," Coleman said. "She got the eyes from one thing and then the mouth from another, and so on."
Describing Madeline as highly talented, Coleman said the poster contains several impressive artistic traits.
"She has a great sense of balance, and the flashing red lights on the top of the bus gives it a great focal point that stresses the theme of the poster," she said.
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