MOJAVE – Seven Mojave Elementary School students took home awards in the National Association of Conservation Districts poster contest with third-grader Ezekiel Bassey-Lainfiesta, age 8, winning first place at both the regional and state level.

“Each year, the Conservation District, has a conservation poster contest is for grades kindergarten through fourth grade,” said Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist Phil Dixon at an awards assembly Feb. 7. “The theme was soil, dig a little deeper. The best thing about the portrait contest is that we give money for the winners.”

First place winners earn $50, second place is $40 and third place is $30.

“We had seven total winners from Mojave Elementary, which is very cool.” said Dixon.

Conservation mascot Ruby Rainbow was on hand at the event to remind students of the value of water.

“Water is very valuable here in Eastern Kern County,” said Dixon. “We have five and half to six inches of rain every year, so rain is very important to us here in Mojave.”

EKCRCD Vice President Karen Sanders presented awards to the students.

“I want to tell you what a good job you guys did with these posters,” she said. “They were hard to judge you guys did a really great job. Tou stuck with a theme your stuff was colorful. It was great.”

The winners were: Priscilla Ponce, fourth-grade honorable mention; Nathan White, fourth-grade honorable mention; Deanna Vidales, fourth-grade honorable mention; Alondra Santillan, fourth-grade third place; Slyvia Alison Ledwidge fourth-grade second place; Ana Giselle Ruiz fourth-grade first place and Ezekiel Bassey-Lainfiesta third grade first place for region and state.