JERSEY CITY — The melodious sound of a children’s choir filled the lobby of the Journal Square PATH station concourse Thursday morning, as children and their parents gathered for what has become a holiday tradition.
The occasion? To announce the winners of PATH’s annual holiday poster contest.
Three Jersey City public school students took home prizes for their artistic holiday posters, which they entered in PATH’s contest, a nearly 30-year-old tradition that sees the top poster displayed inside PATH trains and stations during the holiday season.
“Due to the increasing quality and imagination of the artwork created by Jersey City students, each year’s posters seem more and more difficult to select than the last,” said PATH General Manager/Director Michael Marino, adding that over 500 posters were submitted for this year’s theme “peace on earth.”
The three winners came from three different grade level categories, with Khloey Lam, a fifth grader at School 25, claiming the grand prize. Her poster, showing a wreath in the shape of a peace sign, will be plastered inside PATH’s 350 trains and 13 stations in New York in New Jersey.
“I feel really happy and excited,” Khloey said as a big smile stretched on her face.
Khloey and the two other winners received four tickets to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and complimentary 10-trip PATH SmartLink cards provided by the Port Authority to get the winners and their families to and from the show.
“I’m really surprised,” Khloey said, adding that she thought students in the older grade category would win.
The event kicked off with a performance from the Psaltis Chamber Choir of the Jersey City ARTS Vocal Program. Shortly after Nathalia Acosta, a second grader from School 27, was selected as the winner of the K-2 grade category. Her poster, which shows a friendly-looking animal standing between two jovial children, will be displayed throughout PATH stations in New Jersey and New York.
“I’m really excited and very happy to be here,” said Nathalia, who added the holidays inspired her art.
Eighth-grader Natalie Spiska from School 37 was selected as the winner of the sixth through eighth grade category. Her poster will also be displayed in the stations.
Natalie, whose poster depicts two doves and an olive tree, said she was so excited about winning that it seemed “unreal” to her.
“It was like a dream come true,” said Natalie, adding she has been submitting her artwork to the PATH holiday poster contest since she was in pre-K.
“I worked hard for it, and it worked out.”