Three Lompoc-area elementary school classes were rewarded with surprise pizza parties on Friday thanks to their efforts to spread anti-bullying awareness.

Two fifth-grade classes at Clarence Ruth Elementary School and one kindergarten class at Buena Vista Elementary School were selected as winners in the first door-decorating contest organized by Wild West Pizza as part of the Lompoc restaurant's "Be Nice for a Slice" program. The contest was held in October, which is recognized as National Bullying Prevention Month.

Thirteen classes took part in the contest, and the decorated doors were judged by Wild West Pizza owner David Goldy and Lompoc mayoral candidates and City Council members Jenelle Osborne and Jim Mosby.

The three winning classes were those taught by Lesley Davis and Gloria Garcia at Clarence Ruth Elementary, and Beth Cothran at Buena Vista Elementary.

At least one of the winning doors incorporated pizza into its design, while they all included slogans aimed at eliminating bullying.

For several years, Wild West Pizza has given certificates to local teachers to give to kids who make positive choices, Goldy said, but he decided this year to up the campaign with the door contest.

Goldy said he was inspired to provide the pizza parties after learning through the certificate giveaways that "kids seem to be excited by pizza." 

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This report was prepared by Willis Jacobson. He can be reached at wjacobson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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