SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Last week Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken announced he was hosting an art contest for students. The mayor received hundreds of submissions using the hashtag #SFStayAtHomeArt on social media. With the help of his wife and children, TenHaken finalized his winners, and delivered them their prizes today.
Second grader Vihaan was selected as one of the winners of the Sioux Falls Stay At Home Art contest.
“I drawed a house inside, and I drawed a circle around it because I thought it would be a safe zone in your house, because there’s no coronavirus in it,” Prize winner Vihaan said.
Along with rewarding students for their artistic skill, TenHaken says the part he’s enjoyed most is the positivity that’s come out of it.
“People are looking for good news right now. They’re looking for things to rally around and unite around. We’re told to stay at home, and to stay separate. Well this is a way virtually we’re able to come together. Even if its through a hashtag and sharing pictures, it feels like we’re part of something bigger,” Mayor Paul TenHaken said.
Along with his daughter Nora, Mayor TenHaken is delivering prizes to 5 houses today for his 10 student winners.
“It was fun having her along today because she was the one in our house who got really excited about this,” TenHaken said.
And he was able to perform one of his favorite duties as Mayor today, spending time with kids.
“This is a small way to fill that cup for me. You know to get out and talk to kids, and say, hey great job. Stick with your home schooling, it matters, I know it’s hard, and just encourage them you know in a real intimate level one-on-one like this,” TenHaken said.
TenHaken says there may be another art contest in the future.
“I have a feeling we may do a round two of this with a theme, that we can give out to kids because it seems they really got excited about it, really rallied around it,” TenHaken said.
The prizes for the winners included TenHaken’s children’s book titled “I Can Work on the Internet” and a $20 cash prize, courtesy of the Sioux Falls Kiwanis Club.