For Immediate Release — June 23, 2009 | HQ
Fumiyo Sato: CFAY Public Affairs
OKINAWA, JAPAN — June 23, 2009 — Nearly 100 children and their family members celebrated the recipients of Sun 35 Art Contest and Curriculum Technology Showcase at the Sullivans School June 5. The Sun, a Department of Defense School (DoDDS) journal of self-expression, is a collection of literary, photography and visual art and musical composition. The 35th edition, Sun 35, presents the accomplishments of both students and staff from the DoDDS in Japan, Korea and elementary and secondary schools in Guam. Curriculum Technology Showcase is for students whose technology projects have been highlighted at the district office, the area office and the local school. The Sullivans School Principal Walter Wilhoit spoke on the importance of the event and how much the children had accomplished during his opening remarks at the library. "Welcome to the annual ceremony for children at our school who have published beyond the local school," said Wilhoit. "We are here to recognize and honor our children who developed their technology project that's now run either on the monitor of the local school, the Sullivans School and the Japan district office, pacific director's office or the area's office."
The Sullivans School has 35 students published in the Sun 35 and 16 entries to the Curriculum Technology Showcase. "We are just overwhelmed by the number of the students. Each school in DoDDs Pacific is able to send so many submissions; but, we sent more and hoped that some schools did not," said Wilhoit. "We got our wish; so we were able to get more than the expected percentage. We were overwhelmed for Sun 35 award recipients, as well as a reception. They autographed their pages of the Sun 35 books and enjoyed the chance to emulate well-known authors signing books in U.S. bookstores. "We consider all the students famous for the day," said Wilhoit. "I felt like I was a celebrity," said The Sullivans School student Deshawn Burke whose music composition, "Superman", was published in Sun 35. "It's awesome and cool because I get to sign lots of books. [My parents said] good job and we are proud of you."
Another Sun 35 award recipient, Jonina Smythe, published her poem in Sun 35. "[I was] happy," Smythe said with a smile. "I like it when my things get published. I felt like I was rich and I was a pop star."
Wilhoit quoted Sun 35 Director Dr. Nancy C. Bresell stating that the artwork and literature contained in the 35th edition of the Sun publication demonstrates the unique talents and abilities of DoDDS students that will serve as an inspiration to everyone. "We believe having a ceremony like today and publishing the students' work does something for them and it will stay with them for rest of their lives," said Wilhoit. "It's important to honor that and acknowledge it because we want them to continue to compose and to write and to be artistic; so that, it may be a career [path] that they take one day." For more information on the Sun Program go to www.pac.dodea.edu.