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Students draw dream homes in contest sponsored by neighborhood builder

By KBell
Nov. 14, 2011 at 5:14 a.m.

Akeitha Green, 10,  reacts after hearing her name called out to receive a free bike. Steve Klein Custom Builders sponsored a poster contest asking Schorlemmer Elementary School students to draw their dream home.

STEVE THE BUILDER

Steve Klein builds custom homes in Victoria and the Austin area.

He and his wife have been involved in Victoria education for 30 years. He said he thinks corporations and business owners should invest in education, especially given school districts' limited budgets.

Klein promised students he'd be back next year for another art contest.

For more information on Klein's company, go to steveklein.com.

Fingers were crossed. Eyes were closed. Some hands folded in prayer.

But only two Schorlemmer Elementary School students could be announced winners in the dream home art contest that promised its champions a shiny new bicycle Monday morning.

Victoria builder Steve Klein, who is building the Terra Vista neighborhood behind the school, sponsored the drawing contest for the development's 450 backyard neighbors at Schorlemmer.

"These young, smiling faces are the future of our city and state, and it's really important to get our children enthused about art, math and science because those are very important when they choose their careers and go out into the working world," Klein said.

The students were tasked with drawing their most imaginative dream home, which Klein said almost always involves a waterslide from a bedroom or a submarine or space ship.

But Klein said he actually learns what families want in their homes thanks to the clever artwork from students.

For example, taking a cue from some kids, he's begun to incorporate technology rooms into homes, where families can congregate with their respective electronics.

Other details, like the ones in fifth-grader Akeitha Green's dream home, may take more effort.

"One of my favorite parts of it is my party room ... no wait, no, my movie theater because I like to watch movies," she said.

In Akeitha's six-story home, there was also a pool, basketball court and elevators.

"I always wanted to have a big house when I grow up and to make it very comfortable," she said. "I love to draw. It's so fun, I do it to relax."

The 10-year-old made three detailed drafts for the contest, but she still jumped up and covered her mouth in surprise when she was announced the winner Monday.

Akeitha said she and her dad like to go riding on trails together, but she recently broke her bike.

As for the other winner, 11-year-old Avery Jewell, this will be his first big bike since he rode one with training wheels. He said he'll let his twin brother ride it first after school, because they both put a lot of effort into their dream home drawings.

"I built it as a log cabin because I thought bricks is just usual," Avery said. "A lot of people use bricks, so I thought it'd be out of the ordinary to use wood instead."

His two-story home was complete with a satellite dish and large patio. He said he loves art, too, and wants to be a cartoonist or game designer when he grows up.

Klein encouraged the students to chase after their hobbies and to combine them with a good education.

"It would be so neat if you could grow up and have a career that you enjoy and love," he said. "So don't let anybody steal your dream."

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