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Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows students showcase their creativity in Design An Ad campaign

Hundreds of entries were submitted from five local schools
Lisa Farquharson, publisher of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News, was pleased with the quality of the entries for this years Design An Ad campaign. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

Students in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows discovered their creative side – designing ads for local businesses.

Five SD42 schools took part in the annual campaign put on by the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News, with two classes from each school generating hundreds of entries for 18 businesses in town.

This year students in Grades 4-6 took part from: Blue Mountain Elementary, Alexander Robinson Elementary, Harry Hooge Elementary, Pitt Meadows Elementary, and Edith McDermott Elementary.

A total of 257 ads were submitted for judging.

“I really love offering this program to the students because I feel it provides a deep, meaningful sense of community,” said Kristen Power, a Grade 4/5 teacher at Alexander Robinson, who has participated in the program for the past two years.

And, for those students who are artistic, the exercise provides a glimpse into the marketing industry on a larger platform, she said, rather than simply making something in the classroom.

Power’s students loved taking part. As a class, Power guided the students as they checked out the websites of the different businesses and the reviews of each company. Then they brainstormed key words and discussed why different companies have different logos.

“They get really invested and they start to ask questions about why those companies are needed in the community,” she said of her students. “They also start to consider their designs from a more business-oriented standpoint, which is just so cool to see. I continue to do this program every year because the students love it and they get excited about it.”

So excited, that her Grade 5 students Leightyn and Kelsey wanted to design ads for more businesses, noted Power.

“I saw the van from Big Valley Heating and it looked exactly like my picture,” said Nova, a Grade 5 student in Power’s class.

Students at Harry Hooge Elementary were also very enthusiastic.

Isha, Grade 4, said the process of creating an ad was “really fun” but also challenging.

“This was my first time designing an ad and I learned how to design one,” said Isha.

Erin, also in Grade 4, said the ad campaign was fun because it is something she has never done before.

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“I got an idea of drawing a car for one of the ads and drew glasses for another ad,” she said.

Evie said her ideas for the ads came from thinking about what would attract peoples’ attention, and noted it took around three weeks to do her rough draft, change her ideas and finish the project.

Grade 5 student Bahar, enjoyed learning more about the businesses like Haney Automotive and Maple Ridge Eye Care. Leila, Grade 4, said designing the ads made her imagination explode, but she also learned that she shouldn’t put so much effort into her rough draft in the future.

“Because when I did it took me a while to get to the final draft,” she noted.

Keenan, Grade 5, said his favourite part was drawing cars, and Fisher, also in Grade 5, said his favourite part was drawing everything.

Lisa Farquharson, publisher of The News, noted there were more entries than they have ever had before in the campaign.

“And they were amazing,” said Farquharson of the students’ work, adding that this is by far her favourite campaign of the year.

“The kids really listened to the directions of what we were looking for more than ever and really put a ton of effort into their drawings,” she said.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

Colleen Flanagan is an award-winning multimedia journalist with more than 15 years experience in the industry.
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