Billboards by Hamden Students Send Social Distancing Messages

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Driving through Hamden, there’s a new big reminder about social distancing, brought to you exclusively by local students.

“When I saw this poster contest come up I said this is right up her alley,” said Melissa Langdon, mom of Claire who is a fourth grade student at Bear Path Elementary.

She has always urged people to wash their hands so she entered the town’s billboard contest with a picture that best shows off her mission.  

“It takes the germs off your hands and you’re not going to get sick and I just think it’s really important,” said Claire. She said she even learned Photoshop.

“I thought this was a great opportunity - this project - for her to develop some more photoshopping skills and stuff like that,” said Jonathan Langdon, Claire’s dad.  “There’s these opportunities to learn even when there are terrible things happening around us.”

Priya Kim says she couldn’t believe she won first place.

“When I first heard I kind of screamed and ran around the house, I was so excited,” said Kim. She got a late start after her teacher told her about it with just two days left.

“He’s like I know I’m a little bit late but would you like to do this? And I was like yeah, sure. So I sat down immediately and started working,” said Kim. 

Her first design had people a little too close together so she separated them out into little boxes to emphasize social distancing.

“I tried to make the people diverse in age and ethnicity, just to show the spectrum of people being affected.”

The billboards are part of the ongoing Positive Choices Campaign for youth, and Mayor Curt Leng says he’s proud of the student response.

“It really engaged them and it was fantastic to see our kids come and hop into this and bring some really great ideas,” said Leng.

When asked how great it is to see student messages around town: “It’s something that I’m going to be very proud of.”

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