Sunshine State Doodler has local connection


Jessica Knowles

Third-grader Landen Slater from Westside Elementary poses with his grandfather, Jeff Knowles.

Jessica Knowles, Staff Writer

Third-grader Landen Slater from Westside Elementary recently won the Doodle 4 Google state competition with the theme of “ What makes me… me”. His design included tools like a saw, ruler, hammer and a drill.

“I was really excited when I won because I have never won something this big before,” Slater said. “I was not expecting it at all, and when they called my name I couldn’t believe it.”

The drawing shows how inspiring his grandfather is to him and how much he loves working with tools and wood.

My drawing shows how my papa uses tools,” Slater said. “He does carpentry and is always working with wood and tools.  I go with him and help him when he works. I am learning how to build things just like him.”

Slater’s grandfather Jeff Knowles said he doesn’t know how being a trim carpenter could inspire a third-grader as much as it did.

“Landen goes on certain jobs with me and has always watched very closely,” Knowles said. “He’s come a long way from the first job. I never knew that something we enjoyed this much could go this far and I was touched when I found out that I was the one to inspire him.”

The public has until Feb. 22 to vote for their favorite doodle, and whoever wins becomes the national finalist. The national finalist receives a $5,000 scholarship, a trip to the Google headquarters in California, an Android tablet, and a T-shirt with the child’s doodle printed on it. The national winner receives a $30,000 scholarship, a $50,000 education grant for their school, a trip to the Google headquarters, a Chromebook, and Android tablet and a T-shirt.

Those who wish to support Slater in the national Doodle 4 Google contest can vote online at