In 2007, Access Ford partnered with Tuloso-Midway High School in donating a car to a student with perfect attendance for the whole year. This year Access Enterprises chose to open up the car giveaway to Calallen and Robstown districts as well, but they thought about putting a little excitement into this giveaway.
Access donated each school district one used car and $500 to each of the schools' art departments. The students were to create an art car to represent district-wide school spirit, and from there it was all up to the students and their art teachers on how they would create their final products.
"This project was very exciting and pretty interesting," said Barbara Dunlap, Tuloso-Midway's art teacher. "Watching the students come up with their different ideas and collaborate with each other, as well as other organizations, was great."
The students were given two months to work on their car projects, between their extra-curricular activities and commitments, and the students and advisors did an outstanding job, officials said. Problem-solving and time management played a huge role in constructing their final products, and for many of these students it was the first time they worked on a project like this one.
However, the winners for the art car project do not determine which senior student will in turn receive the car for perfect attendance. The winner for the sponsored car will be determined by a drawing that each school will have at the end of the year.
"Rather than sending these cars to an auction, we thought, why don't we give these students a blank canvas and at the same time have them promote school spirit," said Jill Strzinek, attendance liaison for Access Ford and Access Chevrolet.
All three vehicles are unique and different in their own ways. Robstown's auto mechanic teacher, Guadalupe Buitron, said that his auto mechanic students worked very closely with the art department in creating this project.
"Our car features something about all of our schools and a little something about the clubs and organizations that we have on our campus," Buitron said.
"One thing I have never seen before I worked on this car project was a car cut in half; it was a lot of fun watching our students in the shop class do that to a car," said Calallen High School sophomore Eddie Padilla.
After the competition is over, the schools are allowed to keep their projects.
"This project took a lot of discipline and dedication. There were times that some of my students wanted to give up, but they stuck to the project and I'm glad that they did," said Esther Lopez, Robstown High School's art teacher.
Two cash prizes will be awarded to the winning schools' art departments. A $1,500 People's Choice Award will be for the school with the most votes and a $500 Art Enthusiast Award will be voted on by local art teachers.
The community is encouraged to go out to Access Ford and Access Chevrolet to view and vote for a favorite car during normal business hours. The last day to vote on the cars is March 12.