City Leaders Surprise Winners of Animal Essay Contest
By Office of Communication
Posted on February 10, 2012, February 10, 2012

Winners of Animal Essay Contest

A hungry shark befriends a penguin. A dog tries to save his owner by jumping in the lake. Helpful tips to improve the lives of animals in our community. And the many ways, from nourishment to companionship, animals benefit us.

These were the topics of this year's winning entries for Arlington's annual Animal Essay Contest.

City leaders, including City Councilwoman Sheri Capehart, surprised winners Friday at schools across Arlington.

"The essays were creative, and the students were really thinking outside the box," said Chris Huff, the city's animal services manager. "You could see that our young people have developed a lot of insight and knowledge on the subject of animals."

More than 1,200 students at public, private, and home schools submitted essays, the highest turnout since the competition began 11 years ago.

First-place winners in each grade received a $500 savings bond. Second-place received a $350 bond, and third place received a $150 bond.

Each grade was asked to write about a specific topic.

For Grade 3: If animals could talk, what would they say?

For Grade 4: What feelings do you think animals have?

For Grade 5: What are some ways that can make life better for animals in your community?

For Grade 6: How do animals benefit us in our daily lives?

Essays included stories about beloved family pets, whimsical tales about talking armadillos, and information on the importance of picking up litter to provide strong habitats to wild animals.

A panel of local citizens and members of the Arlington Animal Services Center Advisory Board judged the essays on elements of writing, including focus, development of ideas, and voice.

Winners

Third grade:
1stplace: Megan McDonald, Moore Elementary
2ndplace: Jace White, Brockett Elementary
3rdplace: Kawther Osman, Butler Elementary

Fourth grade:
1stplace: Vivian Tran, Fitzgerald Elementary
2ndplace: Dawna Berry, Butler Elementary
3rdplace: Jacob Fly, Fitzgerald Elementary

Fifth grade:
1stplace: Christina van Waasbergen, Butler Elementary
2ndplace: Tyler Blake, Children's University
3rdplace: Tanner Greenwood, Corey Elementary

Sixth grade:
1stplace: Amy Karlson, Children's University
2ndplace: Gideon Adeyemo, Lynn Hale Elementary
3rdplace: Julian Lopez, Bryant Elementary

By Sarah Bahari

animal essay, contest, schools
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