HONOLULU, HAWAII  Alaska Airlines is inviting school-aged children in Hawaii to create artwork honoring the unique culture of the Aloha State that will adorn a Boeing 737-800 in a “Paint the Plane” contest. In partnership with the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) and the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS), contest forms will be distributed to more than 400 schools and 218,000 students throughout the Islands.

Students in kindergarten through 12th grade from public, private and home schools across the state have until Nov. 30 to submit designs that best capture the “Spirit of the Islands.” A final selection panel comprised of 10 judges representing Hawaii’s government, community, arts, education and tourism leaders will select three top designs. Residents of the state of Hawaii will then vote on the top three designs and provide Alaska Airlines with their recommendation in an online public vote slated for December 2012. The plane is scheduled to be revealed at a public event in Hawaii during the spring of 2013.

“What better way to celebrate five years of flying to the Aloha State than to share Hawaii’s culture and spirit in a flying mural inspired by our future—our keiki, or children,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing. “Whether you doodle, draw stick figures or use a computer for graphic design, we urge all school-aged children in Hawaii to enter for a chance to share your creativity across our extensive network in the United States, Mexico and Canada.”

The student with the winning submission will get his or her design painted on an Alaska Airlines aircraft, a trip for four to any Alaska Airlines destination and a $5,000 scholarship. Second- and third-place winners will receive a trip for four to any Alaska Airlines destination, and 12 honorable mentions will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship, except for the grade of grand prize winner.

Governor Neil Abercrombie attended a kick-off event today with 330 students at Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School in Honolulu, along with representatives from Alaska Airlines, the DOE and HAIS.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our students to not only showcase their art but also instill continued pride for their school,” stated Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “This is one example of how the sky is the limit when it comes to applying imagination and art.”

“The ‘Spirit of the Islands’ contest is an opportunity for students to unleash their creativity and innovation,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Department of Education. “In a global economy driven by ideas and experimenting beyond boundaries, the arts make invaluable and unique contributions to learning and preparing our graduates for college and careers.”

“Spirit of the Islands” contest schedule:

Sept. 24 – Contest begins for Hawaii students
Nov. 30 – Entry forms must be postmarked and mailed to designated Alaska Airlines P.O. box in Honolulu
Dec.11-18 – Hawaii residents vote online for their favorite design
January 2013 – Results of online voting revealed and winner announced
Spring 2013 – Painted plane is unveiled

Complete contest details are available at www.alaskaair.com/hawaii

Report submitted by the DOE – Hawaii

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