Seventy thousand copies of a poster created by Naomi Tu, a ninth-grader at Champlin Park High School, will be distributed and displayed in schools across the country to promote bus safety.
Tu’s work, done when she was an eighth-grader at Jackson Middle School in Champlin, was the 2014 winner of a contest for National School Bus Safety Week. The annual contest is sponsored by the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT).
“I was surprised, and I was happy that I won,” Tu said in a news release from the Anoka-Hennepin School District.
Students compete in district and state-level contests before finalists move on to the national contest. For the contest in the Anoka-Hennepin district, prizes are provided by First Student and Kottkes bus companies.
Tu has won prizes ranging from 25 silver dollars to tickets to a Twins game, where her poster was displayed on the jumbotron, the district news release said. She also received $500 from the NAPT.
Tu’s poster consists of three panels that convey the theme of the contest, “Be Smart — Be Seen, I Wait in a Safe Place!”
“I wanted to take a different approach to bus posters so it was unique, and I decided to make it comic-strip style,” she said. “I think it’s easy to read, and the message had repetition of ‘Be,’ so I thought it would be good to have separate pictures.”
Tu, who has been drawing since she was 3, said she was inspired by her interest in animé and manga, a Japanese style of comic strips. “I really like that style of art,” she said. “I plan to have a job somewhere in the arts, and right now I’m considering being a manga artist.”
Keith Paulson, transportation director for the Anoka-Hennepin School District, said Tu is the first student from the district to win the national contest.