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Free calendars feature fourth graders' water artwork

FALLBROOK – About 250 Fallbrook fourth graders put their creative caps on for the Fallbrook Public Utility District’s annual water conservation poster contest. But only 14 made it into the final product: the 2023 “Be Water Smart” calendar.

Twelve of those winning images appear inside the calendar – one for each of the 12 months of the year; another image is printed on the cover, and another is for January 2024.

The calendars are available free at the Fallbrook Public Utility District office, Northgate Market, and the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce, while supplies last. They were also previously available at several other locations around town.

The pupils’ colorful images vividly depict the contest’s theme. FPUD judges scrutinized the entries to find the most eye-catching images illustrating the need for saving water.

Those 14 student artists were recognized at the Jan. 23 board of directors meeting. Each received a gift card to Walmart, school supplies, and their artwork was matted and framed for them. The top three winners also received a T-shirt with their artwork printed on it.

First place was awarded to Brando Ortega of Maie Ellis Elementary, second place to Gianna Bautista of Live Oak Elementary, and third place to Genesis Mundo of Fallbrook STEM Academy.

The other winners are:

· Fallbrook STEM Academy – Rafael Solis and Sofia Escobedo

· Live Oak Elementary – Sadie Olvera, Cadence Hawk, Thomas Villicana and Sophia Sanchez

· La Paloma Elementary – Fatima Bernabe

· Maie Ellis Elementary – Joy Mills, Eliza Zepeda, Sophia Caralampio and Melissa Pablo Juan

The annual contest is open to all fourth graders within FPUD’s service area. It is an effort to highlight water awareness in semi-arid San Diego County. Fourth graders have studied water and the water cycle, and can vividly depict the need for saving water.

Most of Fallbrook’s fourth-grade classrooms were visited by FPUD spokeswoman Noelle Denke who tested their knowledge with a game of water bingo and talked about water conservation.

Posters were judged on expression of the theme, also design, creativity and artistic skill. Winning artwork will also be displayed in FPUD’s boardroom throughout the year. It is also on the FPUD website,, and will be used in the district’s social media posts on Facebook and Twitter.


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