South O’ the Highway

Jimmy Fallon & Kermit the Frog to Judge Students’ Art for Google Homepage

Draw, East End students! Draw!

Jimmy Fallon is teaming up with the one and only Kermit the Frog! On January 7, the amphibious entertainer popped up from under The Tonight Show host’s desk to sing his classic “Rainbow Connection” while Fallon softly played ukulele in a purely genuine moment—one The Muppets creator Jim Henson would have been proud of. Why was Kermit under the desk? He has a timeshare down there, and it was his week.

After the endearing performance, the Sagaponack resident and the Muppet announced that they’ve been selected as guest judges for the 2019 Doodle for Google contest, an annual event where students K–12 can submit their own design for consideration on the Google homepage. Kermit explained that this year’s theme is “When I grow up, I hope…” This tasks young artists with incorporating the word “Google” into one piece of artwork that reflects what their dream for the future is, be it hover cars, a Mars colony or world peace. In addition to their doodle appearing on the homepage for a day, winners will also receive prizes such as a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology package for their school/non-profit organization.

How will Fallon, Kermit and 2018 National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning decide who wins the first round?

First, the submitted artwork will be separated into five age groups: Grades K–3, 4–5, 6–7, 8–9 and 10–12. Then, the judges will select the best drawing from each state and US territory based on artistic merit, creativity and adherence to the theme, while guaranteeing at least 10 artists from each age bracket advance. These 53 state and territory winners will have their entries featured in the Doodle for Google online gallery.

Once the 53 are unveiled, the public will have a week to vote for their favorites, determining the five finalists. A panel of Google executives will choose the national winner from the final five. The submission period is open through March 18, and the winner will be announced in June.

It’s completely within the realm of possibility that a student from the Hamptons or North Fork could win the grand prize, given the wealth of artistic talent found on the East End. So as Kermit says in the clip, “Tadpoles, start doodling!”

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