A teacher at Coeur d’Alene Elementary School in Venice has won $5,000 and been selected as a national finalist in the 2004 Barbie Arts Teacher of the Year Search.

The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and the Barbie Brand, a charity arm of toymaker Mattel, selected Viktoriya Babchenka Monday, June 7th.

The teacher search recognizes outstanding arts teachers nationwide whose talent and creativity have a lasting impact on children.

Babchenka will receive a $5,000 grant for her arts education program at the Venice school, which is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. If she wins the final competition, she will receive an additional $10,000 grant for arts education.

She was selected as a finalist, thanks to an inspirational essay sent by one of her students, Maya Schulefand.

Schulefand’s essay was one of 20 entries picked from the more than 6,000 essays submitted for the Entertainment Industry Foundation National Arts Education Initiative.

Schulefand will be awarded a $100 prize package from Mattel.

The national teacher of the year will be announced in September.

The Barbie Brand has committed $2 million to the Entertainment Industry Foundation National Arts Education Initiative.

Share