A STUDENT from St Michael’s Grammar School has won a cartoon competition in which pupils were encouraged to promote a key crime prevention message.
Sheena Gracey (18) won the Antisocial Behaviour Cartoon Character competition, which provided pupils with the opportunity to promote the crime messages while developing their graphic and design skills.
The pilot scheme was run in conjunction with St Michael’s Grammar School, Lurgan, local business Graceland Print and Design and the Lurgan Mail.
The competition was launched at the beginning of September when pupils were invited to design a cartoon strip with a central character to highlight the dangers and consequences of antisocial behaviour.
Six pupils, aged between 14 and 18 years old, submitted entries.
Sheena Gracey won with her character ‘Tyrant Terrance’ while 16 year old Owen Mackle and 16 year old Eve McGuicken were close behind as runners-up.
The three prize winners got the opportunity to visit Graceland Print and Design and work on their entries with professional designers and experience the process of taking an idea though production to completion.
The six competitors received certificates and prizes at an awards presentation in St Michael’s Grammar School.
Sheena received an ipad and a framed image of her cartoon strip. The two runners-up received a £50 itune voucher and had their entries framed. The PSNI will now look at opportunities to showcase their entries within the service.
The remaining three competitors received itunes vouchers and certificates.
Constable Michael Allen, Lurgan Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “When we first sat down to discuss ways we could promote crime prevention messages to young people it was important to us that the teenagers took part in spreading the message themselves. The idea for the cartoon strip came from the concept of letting the participants present their own vision of antisocial behaviour and what consequences it can have.
“It was also important to us that taking part in the competition would provide benefits and opportunities for the students. The involvement of Graceland Print allowed us to give the students a look into the business world of graphics and design and also afforded them vital experience when applying for university or work.”
Mrs Gail McSherry of St Michael’s added: “As a school we are always concerned about the safety of our young people in the local community and we felt that the cartoon competition offered an ideal way to raise awareness and protect students from the dangers of involvement in anti-social behaviour.”
The competition entries were judged by representatives from PSNI, St Michael’s and Graceland Print and Design.
Mr Simon Eakin, Graceland Print and Design, said: “We were delighted to be able to support this competition and provide local pupils with the opportunity to see how the design and print business operates. It was also a welcome opportunity for us to see the talent and potential on our own doorstep. The winning entries showcased the enthusiasm for this type of artwork and the skill that our local pupils have.”
Constable Allen continued: “We were really blown away with the work and effort that went into the entries and it was no easy task to pick a winner.
“Sheena will now have the opportunity to see her work featured in the local paper and will also design a further two cartoon strips for publication during the school year. Hopefully this will provide her with valid experience to enhance opportunities for further education or employment later on.
“We ran this competition on a pilot basis and are hopeful that we will be able to introduce it across more schools in the area next year.”
Competition winner, Sheena Gracey, praised the competition and added: “I was delighted and surprised to learn that I was the overall winner. As an A Level Art student, I feel that winning this prize could benefit my future career prospects.”