Elm River Colony's Brennan School east of Portage held a contest on Thursday for all grades of the school. It was a great way to start off the first day of December, and all grades were involved. Portage la Prairie School Division Administrator for Hutterian Education Schools Department Graham Shindle outlines the experience.

"We're here today doing a Christmas decorated door judging competition," says Shindle. "It was really exciting and fun. As judges, we had cookies hot chocolate, and we were bribed at every stop. It was a lot of fun and we really saw some great curricular connections. Students made everything from art to numeracy, to literacy and geography and even some rail safety. Every class clearly worked extremely hard. We picked the kindergarten class as the winners, because the angel costumes were just too cute. Couldn't say no to kindergartners dressed up in the angel costumes."

Eight doors of classrooms were involved, and artwork was judged by curriculum content, colourful element, original artwork as opposed to photocopying, all students' involvement,  various media in the artwork, the Christmas theme, and writing elements. 

Principal Elma Maendel announced the winner as all students gathered in the gymnasium. 

"A month ago, one of the staff members suggested we have some friendly rivalry happening," says Maendel. "We came up with the idea that each class would decorate a door with the theme of Christmas. The underlying thing was they were supposed to have some curriculum connections. We made a list of criteria and announced the contest to the students in an assembly with the  idea that it needs ot be done by December 1, and we'd have a few judges come and check things, and give us their verdict. as to what they think is the most spectacular Christmas door."  

Judges included Graham Shindle, his secretary Brenda Farncombe, colony resident Sonia Maendel and PortageOnline's Mike Blume.