Several students from the Red Clay Consolidated School District were among the 30 chosen winners of the 5th Annual Lt. Governor's Art Contest. The winners and their families were treated to a trip to Legislative Hall May 20.

More than 500 students from across the state entered the contest. The theme of this year's competition was "Delaware Postcards", and contestants were asked to create a postcard they would send to a friend encouraging them to visit Delaware.

A committee of four judges selected three winners in 12 different categories. The winners were then invited to a celebration reception in Legislative Hall.

Lt. Governor Matt Denn said he enjoys meeting the winners and their families.

"It is great to see how excited the kids and their families are to be here," Denn said. "For me, this is where I work. Coming here every day, you can forget how exciting it can be to come here for the first time."

Denn said he decided to start the art contest in 2009, after noticing that the walls of his office were empty.

"I showed up for work and there was nothing on the walls," he said. "I have always been big on education and encouraging children to participate in Art. The contest is a great way to promote art and it's a fun way to decorate the office."

In addition to getting the opportunity to visit Legislative Hall with their families, the winners' artwork is framed and hung throughout the building for a year.

"After a year we return the pieces to the kids and hang the next group of winners," Denn said. "Coming in and seeing the artwork on the walls is a good reminder of why we are here and the job we have to do."

Red Clay Consolidated School District Superintendent Mervin Daugherty is proud to have his students participate in the art contest.

"We really try to promote the arts," he said. "The contest is a great opportunity for students to share their artwork."

Daugherty said the art contest is provides students with an overwhelming benefit.

"We, as educators, have an obligation to expose our children to the arts," he said. "By participating in the arts, students are given an outlet to use creative thinking. The arts also have the opportunity to engage other students, who may not be as interested in the other courses they are taught in school."