There were few parameters, little guidance and the encouragement to think freely. Students in a sixth-grade class at Boring Middle School were given an open-ended assignment: Draw what “peace” meant to them.

The posters submitted by 25 students for the Lions International Peace Poster Contest were judged on originality, artistic merit and expression of the theme “imagine peace.” Parents and staff voted 12-year-old Tayler Webster as the winner. Her poster has been sent to the Lions’ district governor.

“When someone says the word ‘peace,’ it makes me think of colorful peace signs and no more war,” Webster said. “Peace really means something to me. I want peace to mean that everyone on Earth will get along and that there will be color in the world — when I say color, I mean happiness and love.”

Students in Connie Maguire’s class were given a month to design and draw their posters. Using art rather than words to express what peace meant, Webster said the inspiration for her poster came from the American flag and rainbows. A series of slanted lines were separated by bright colors along the right and left sides of her poster. In the center of her poster was a large peace symbol and the stars and stripes of the American flag with a small heart drawn inside.

“I was trying to show the colors I thought meant peace to me,” Webster said.

The final stage is international judging, and the grand prize winner will travel to New York to celebrate Lions Day at the United Nations and receive a $5,000 cash prize. In addition, 23 other winners will earn a $500 cash prize.

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