Due to kindergarten class visits, there are no Storytimes, Playtimes or Babytimes for the month of February at all South Bend locations. Programs continue at Lakeville and North Liberty branches.

Due to kindergarten class visits, there are no Storytimes, Playtimes or Babytimes for the month of February at all South Bend locations. Programs continue at Lakeville and North Liberty branches.

Nine winners selected in 2023 Fresh New Kicks Contest

By: Marenda Escobar

Students in our community have outdone themselves in this year’s Fresh New Kicks design-a-shoe contest! This year, the St. Joe County Public Library received 567 design submissions, including submissions from entire classes at Corpus Christi Catholic School, Navarre Middle School and Monroe Elementary from the South Bend Community School Corporation.

For those who don’t know, Fresh New Kicks is a competition where kids and teens are invited to create their own shoe designs for a chance to win one of nine prizes. The concept is simple; students choose from a blank shoe template where they can draw and color in an original design before submitting to the Library, where a team of judges will carefully review and select finalists, winners and runner ups for three age groups: Grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. 

Melody Lutz, the Library’s Education and Programming Manager, organized the 2023 Fresh New Kicks competition. Reflecting on this year’s entries, she explains,“We are so excited to share the creativity of our young patrons with the rest of our community. Their designs are expressive, innovative, and convey unique points of view. Trends include nature scenes; bold, colorful prints; and depictions of various fandoms, including popular television shows such as Wednesday, classic horror movies such as American Psycho, and cartoons and anime such as Naruto.”

“Our judges were so impressed by the volume of submissions and the tremendous talent of the artists who submitted! We would like to thank all of the artists who participated, and the teachers and parents who encouraged them to express their unique style through art.” 

Creativity and self-expression have always been at the heart of the design-a-shoe contest. Last week, Library judges thoughtfully selected entries based on both originality and artistic ability. It’s no doubt that this year, many students met this challenge. 

With this being said, the Library is proud to announce the 2023 Fresh New Kicks winners: 

Grades 3-5
Winner: Jaz’marie Griffin, “Rainbow Galaxy” 
Runner up: Liv DeFauw, “High Flyer” 
Runner up: Josie Michalak, “A Sunday Sundae” 

Grades 6-8
Winner: Madeline Arashio, “Gazing upon the Sun”
Runner up: Klaire Kemp, “Howling Wolf at Midnight” 
Runner up: Logan Sypel, “Donut Party”

Grades 9-12
Winner: Kristin Guse, “Blow Away Your Troubles” 
Runner up: Gianfranco Miller, “Light in the Dark” 
Runner up: Jillian Minnes, “The Bateman” 

These nine winners will receive Kohl’s gift cards, $50 for winners, and $25 for runner ups. Check out their designs below!


Grades 3-5

Winner: Jaz’marie Griffin, “Rainbow Galaxy” 
Runner up: Liv DeFauw, “High Flyer” 
Runner up: Josie Michalak, “A Sunday Sundae” 

Grades 6-8

Winner: Madeline Arashio, “Gazing upon the Sun”
Runner up: Klaire Kemp, “Howling Wolf at Midnight” 
Runner up: Logan Sypel, “Donut Party”

Grades 9-12

Winner: Kristin Guse, “Blow Away Your Troubles” 
Runner up: Gianfranco Miller, “Light in the Dark” 
Runner up: Jillian Minnes, “The Bateman”

Want to see more creative entries? 150 total finalists will be on display in Main Library’s smART box beginning Monday, March 27 through April 9. We hope you’ll come visit.

The Library supports creative expression and artistic ability year-round. This spring, we invite you to express your creative voice at our all-ages Spill the Ink Poetry Contest

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