Three area art students recently won awards in the 2008 Georgia Junior Duck Stamp contest.
Samantha Stewart, 11, won first place in the category for fourth- through sixth-graders for her watercolor of a wood duck.
Hailey Rogers, 13, earned second place for seventh- through ninth-graders for her pastel of Canadian geese. Her 10-year-old sister, Anna, received honorable mention in the fourth- through sixth-grade category for her pastel of trumpet swans.
The girls take art lessons at Miss Charlene's School of Art in Winfield.
Art teacher Charlene Montgomery said she encourages her students to enter contests.
"It builds their self-confidence in their art work," she said.
Montgomery said her students have entered the contest, which is sponsored by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, for the past four years.
"I have never had a student enter from here that didn't place," she said.
The Junior Duck Stamp contest is open to kindergartners through 12th-graders. Each artist must depict on paper a duck, goose or other waterfowl species that is native to North America.
The purpose of the contest, which was authorized by Congress in 1994, is to promote conservation of wetlands and waterfowl habitat through arts education.
Samantha said she was "surprised and excited" when she found out she had won her age category.
"My mom found out before I did, but she didn't tell me," she said. "Miss Charlene called and told me."
Hailey said she chose pastels for her painting for a specific reason.
"It's one I'm kind of good at," she said of the medium.
Her sister also said she likes pastels.
"The colors are brighter," said Anna.
The image of the national winner, which is selected from the statewide winners, is depicted on a stamp.
Junior Duck Stamps are produced by the U.S. Postal Service for the Fish & Wildlife Service.
They are sold by the postal service and Amplex Corp. consignees for $5 per stamp, but they are not valid as postage.
Proceeds support conservation education and provide awards and scholarships for the program's students, teachers and participating schools.
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