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Lathrop students art part of Valley Air calendar
The month of October in the 2013 Healthy Air Living Kids Calendar released by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District features this original art work by Joseph Widmer Jr. School sixth grader Nicolle Sanchis. - photo by Courtesy Valley Air Pollution Control District

LATHROP – Phoebe Southimath of Lathrop Elementary School, and Nikolle Sanchis of Joseph Widmer School are calendar girls.

Phoebe, a seventh grader, is the calendar girl for January 2013. Sixth-grader Nikolle is the October girl.

The calendar where they are being featured, along with 13 other students in the San Joaquin Valley, is the 2013 Healthy Air Living Kids’ Calendar published by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

District spokesman Anthony Presto said 20,000 copies of the free calendar have been printed and are distributed to schools, community groups, healthcare facilities, churches, civic organizations and non-profit groups throughout the eight-county Valley Air District.

The educational calendar features the original works of art by the children in the eight counties, with the selected 15 chosen from hundreds of entries. The annual contest is open to all K-12 students in the Valley, Presto said.

“We receive a lot of fantastic arts from talented artists all over the Valley every year,” he said.

“We’re mainly looking for messages on how to live a healthy-air life and how to clean the air and educating the public,” he added.

Phoebe’s illustration shows a young boy and girl, with each announcing a message. The girl’s message is bilingual – “Hacer del mundo un lugar major,” with the English translation, “Make the world a better place.” The boy’s message is, “Keep the Air Clean.” Above them is the message in capital letters: “You can Make a Difference.”

Nikolle’s colorful October calendar drawing shows two girls sitting in a colorful car. Nikolle’s message for the October month is: “Be Cool and Carpool!”

Presto said the grand prize winner in the calendar contest gets to be on the cover. This year, the young artist whose work graces the 2013 calendar is Modesto fourth-grader Julia Shannon. The youngest among the featured artists is first grader Arieana Gutierrez of Tulare. The other winning artists are from Bakersfield, Clovis, Fresno, Madera, Woodlake, Atwater, Stockton, Modesto, and Lemoore.

Presto said copies of the calendar can be reserved, while supplies last, at, or they can be picked up in any District office in Fresno (tel. 559-230-6000), Modesto (tel. 209-557-6400) or Bakersfield (661-392-5500).