Kingsland students win national poster competition


GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Josh Meskill and Reilly Lawson earned national recognition for their Builders Club recruitment poster.
By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Spring Valley Tribune

“We got first in the nation, but it’s unknown yet on international,” stated Josh Meskill, president of the Kingsland Builders Club, as his co-artist and classmate, Reilly Lawson pointed out their nationally-recognized Builders Club poster hanging on the wall in the Kingsland High School hallway.

“We did it for our club, for recruitment,” said Lawson. “It shows our activities that we do throughout the year.” 

Junior high students Lawson and Meskill’s Lego-derived poster depicts the fun things that Builders Club members get to do while serving their community, offering the slogan, “Building Leaders, Building the Community.” 

“We did a Lego theme for our club slogan, ‘Building Leaders,’ and my favorite part was how we showed all the activities in Legos,” said Meskill. “It wasn’t our best artwork — we did it in one hour — but it shares creativity and shows how we can all help build our community.” 

Builders Club is a student-led community service organization for junior high and middle school students that operates under school regulations. Spring Valley’s Kiwanis club, composed of like-minded, service-oriented people from the community, serves as the club’s sponsor.

The pair submitted their entry to the national Builders Club recruitment poster contest after Builders Club leader Nancy Cornell suggested that they might find some success.  The entry was due by Dec. 10, but they had to wait until February to see which winners were chosen.

The poster advanced through a lengthy process. First, it entered district competition, then the poster was part of competition for southeastern Minnesota competition and then it advanced to state. 

“I don’t remember the exact date, but it was very exciting when Nancy texted us and told us that it had won at national,” said Lawson. “It moves to internationals now, and we get club funds from Kiwanis International.  It was fun learning every week how it advanced to the next section.”

Meskill commented that it’s exciting to have their poster and club recognized at the national level, but that’s not the be-all and end-all of their efforts. 

“Winning was fun, but also working on this poster together was good.  Teamwork makes the dream work,” he said.  “Being in Builders Club is important…to serve our school, and more importantly, our community.  We have spent time reading to kids, doing ditch cleanups, helping with the community Halloween party and many, many more things.  Our favorite part has been helping the seventh graders learn how to be productive members of society.  The poster shows only six activities we do — we do many more for both he community and school, and we are grateful to do them.”