Annabelle J. at Liberty Middle School won first place for grades 6-8 in the Military Child Art Contest, sponsored by the Military Child Education Coalition. CONTRIBUTED

Liberty’s Annabelle wins first place for grades 6-8 in Military Child Art Contest

MADISON – An eighth-grader at Liberty Middle School has won first place for her age group in an art contest. Military Child Education Coalition sponsors the global contest.

Annabelle J. was judged as first-place artist for grades 6-8 in the “Call for the Arts” contest.

Since 2002, thousands of military-connected children have shared their experiences, dreams and challenges through art. According to contest officials, the coalition’s 2024 contest was a resounding success.

The contest generated entries from around the world. The contestants’ work inspired officials with the expressions of strength and community.

Annabelle’s family is associated with the U.S. Army. “As a military brat, I’ve moved to many places, and I have met tons of interesting people. I remember the scenic views and snowy winters of New York, the beautiful sunsets and dry climate of Texas, Route 66 in Oklahoma, the wheat fields in Kansas and the nature of Alabama,” Annabelle said.

“I see all of these places as my home, and I’m thankful for the people I’ve met, and the places I’ve seen,” Annabelle said.

To commemorate scenes and locations where her family has lived, Annabelle entitled her design, “Invisible Strings.” For her unique creation, Annabelle placed a cutout of the states where she has lived: New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Alabama.

A heart on each state represents her family’s city of residence. She connected each state by pieces of string to a larger heart in the design’s center. Knowing that her family has fond memories of those cities, anyone viewing Annabelle’s art could see the connecting threads as ‘heartstrings.’

The Military Child Education Coalition conducts the Call for the Arts contest annually. Contest officials encourage military-connected students to create artwork that symbolizes the lifestyle of a military-connected child. (

Madison has approximately 3,000 students in military-connected families that attend Madison City Schools. The school district works diligently to support military families and to address transitional challenges through the efforts of students, teachers, counselors, school administrators and the Department of Defense Education Activity or DoDEA grant administrator.

Federal Impact Aid has generated approximately $4 million to MCS in the past 10 years. Additionally, the district has acquired more than $12 million in DoDEA grant funds, which support military-connected programs. (

The coalition, a 501(c)3 global nonprofit organization, supports all military-connected children by educating, advocating and collaborating to resolve education challenges associated with military life.

For more information, visit or Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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