Niwot-Mwebaza T-shirt Logo Winner Announced!

Students in Art classes at Niwot Elementary were given the opportunity to design a logo celebrating the friendship between Niwot and Mwebaza Schools. One logo from over 375 fabulous designs was selected by a committee of judges to be printed on t-shirts for sale. The logo’s creator, Emma Gibbs, won a $25 gift certificate to Borders. Emma’s logo depicts a gorilla and cougar, the respective mascots of Mwebaza and Niwot Schools. She placed a drawing of the earth between them representing the international nature of the relationship. There is a letter with wings flying above the earth, representing the pen pal letter exchange between the schools.

In addition, two runners up were selected from each grade level, grades one through five. Their designs, along with Emma’s winning design, are posted here. Please click on any design to see a larger version.

A t-shirt order form was sent home with Niwot students through which they will have the opportunity to purchase a Niwot-Mwebaza t-shirt should they wish to do so. Through the form, one can also contribute extra funds to purchase a t-shirt for one or more Mwebaza students. We hope to be able to secure a t-shirt for all 150 students at Mwebaza School!

Several years ago, through a similar t-shirt program initiated by our third grade students and teachers, we managed to do exactly this. We knew that these t-shirts would be a very special gift for the Mwebaza kids, most of whom only own very few articles of clothing. We did not realize, however, that these t-shirts would become a school uniform for Mwebaza School! School uniforms are very important in Uganda for several reasons. First of all, they convey a sense of pride in one’s school and education. Second, in an environment where some are desperately poor and do not own a variety of clothing, uniforms do not highlight one’s economic status as all students are wearing the same thing. Third, in Africa, the entire community takes responsibility for caring for the children of the village. If a child is found wandering where he or she should not be, an adult can easily identify the child as a “Mwebaza kid” by his or her school uniform, and assist him or her in returning to school.

The t-shirts that we provided to Mwebaza a few years ago have been worn and worn again since then, and, as you might guess, they are becoming ragged. We would like to bless the students of Mwebaza with new t-shirts this year! Mwebaza Foundation President and Niwot teacher, Dale Peterson, will deliver the shirts in person when he visits Mwebaza School in the summer of 2011.