Fifth-grader Lauren Fleck of Grant Elementary School in Santa Monica was recognized Tuesday, June 16th as the grand prize winner of the art contest for the city’s “Smoking Doesn’t Belong Here” campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the smoking ban in the city’s public spaces.

As the grand prize winner, Fleck’s art design will be featured on the side of a Big Blue Bus through an advertising campaign to promote the no smoking laws in Santa Monica. Her class and teacher Shelly Smith were presented with a $500 donation for the contest prize.

After more than 100 submissions from six local elementary schools were received, the colorful entries were judged on creativity, originality, neatness, clarity of written description, representation of description, skill level involved and adherence to rules. The entries depict the children’s artistic renditions of what living in a smoke-free city and world means to them.

“It is great to see how creative and thoughtful our students can be,” said Mayor Ken Genser. “I am inspired by their understanding that an individual’s actions can have an effect on the entire community.”

Selected for their level of community involvement and leadership, the contest judges included members of Santa Monica business and political organizations such as the City Council, Chamber of Commerce, Bayside District Corporation and the California Arts Council.

“This campaign highlights the city’s storied outdoor culture and dramatizes how our clean air rules benefit everyone — from first-time visitors and long-time residents to elementary school students,” said Santa Monica Deputy City Attorney Adam Radinsky. “Our goal is to educate the public on the locations of our smoke-free areas, while ensuring the collective enjoyment of the city’s public spaces.”

The fifth grade art contest is one of the final pieces of the multifaceted public education campaign for the smoking ban that was approved by City Council in February.

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