AFN Coloring Contest

From left bottom, Cara Graziano, 5, Zoey Graziano, 9, Caitlin Halim, 10, top, Principal Dave Maloney, Attendance Clerk Kim Clithero, Kathy Graziano, Leilany Halim, School Secretary Jackie Heisterkamp and AFN Publisher Kent Johnson pose for a photo at Kyrene de la Sierra Elementary School after Zoey and Caitlin won the AFN Holiday Coloring Contest on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

Two students from Kyrene de la Sierra won a combined $300 for their school through the Ahwatukee Foothills News Holiday Coloring Contest.

On Thursday, Publisher Kent Johnson awarded Caitlin Halim and Zoey Graziano $150 each to go toward needs at the school.

Principal Dave Maloney said he’ll ask the students what they think the money should go toward, but it will most likely be used for new playground equipment or upgrades to the kindergarten classrooms.

“We’ll ask the kids what they need,” Maloney said. “Kids know more than us. We’ll buy something and it won’t be right so we always ask them.”

Each of the girls said they spent hours working on their pictures for the contest. They were given a round of applause when their classmates saw their work.

“She’s got skills,” said Kathy Graziano, Zoe’s mother. “It’s exciting. It’s really cool when the school makes a big deal out of something too and announces it in class. That’s really validating.”

There were more than 30 entries to the contest. Kids could cut the page out of the AFN and turn it in once they had finished coloring or they could color it at the Festival of Lights Kick-Off Party at the AFN booth.

“It feels really good,” Caitlin said. “Usually, with contests I don’t win a lot so this feels really good.”

This was the first year the Ahwatukee Foothills News has done a coloring contest, but Johnson said he was excited about the turnout and will most likely do the contest again in 2013.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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