12 Winners Announced in Arlington’s Annual Animal Essay Contest
By Susan Schrock
Posted on February 07, 2016, February 07, 2016

12 Winners Announced in Arlington’s Annual Animal Essay Contest

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With surprise visits to classrooms, Arlington city officials congratulated twelve students on Friday who penned the winning papers for this year's Animal Essay Contest.

Nearly 1,500 students in public, private, charter and home schools participated in the 15th Annual Animal Essay contest, which is designed to promote responsible pet ownership. The contest is open to students in grades three through six who live within the Arlington city limits.

"The contest brings awareness to caring for homeless pets and how important it is for pet owners to spay and neuter their pets to prevent overpopulation of cats and dogs. The students are very excited to share their thoughts through writing about animals, while at the same time, they are learning to work on their writing skills," said Cheri Colbert, Code Compliance Services volunteer administrator and contest coordinator.

Butler Elementary Principal Stacie Humbles was pleased to learn one of the third graders at her north Arlington campus received top honors.

"We have a school of animal lovers, from our teachers to our kids. They really enjoy writing about this topic. It just has been a really good experience to have a personal connection to their writing. It's an engaging topic for them," Humbles said. "There is the added bonus that we usually have a winner. That's a huge motivator for them to participate and do their absolute best."

Each winner will receive a Kindle Fire, made possible by Beacon E&P and the City of Arlington, along with a $100 savings account, compliments of EECU, Beacon E&P and the City of Arlington.

Besides an invitation to read their essays March 5 at the Animal Services Center, the winners will be recognized March 1 by Arlington City Council. Interviews of first placers will also be broadcast on the City of Arlington's YouTube channel and on the 24/7 MyArlingtonTV cable channel, found on AT&T U-verse Channel 99, Time Warner Cable on channel 16, 15.1 (digital) and Internet Live-Streaming.

This year's winners are:

Grade 3

Essay Topic: If you were asked to help at a local animal shelter, what do you think you would be asked to do?

1st place: Asaya Matsumoto, Butler Elementary

2nd place: Carys Sherer, J.B. Little Elementary

3rd place: Lubyana Faizi, Imogene Gideon Elementary

Grade 4

Essay Topic: What changes do cats and dogs have to make to live and survive as homeless pets?

1st place: Katelin Crain, St. Maria Goretti

2nd place: Nautica Wood, Williams Elementary

3rd place: Arshleen Bains, Janet Brockett Elementary

Grade 5

Essay Topic: What advice would you give to pet owners in order to prevent overpopulation of cats & dogs?

1st place: Nicke Nguyen, Cross Timbers Intermediate

2nd place: Andrea Medrano, Williams Elementary

3rd place: Aalaa Assaad, Manera STEM Academy

Grade 6

Essay Topic: How would an overpopulation of homeless cats and dogs affect our local ecosystem?

1st place: Grace Wilson, home school student

2nd place: Tatiana Boyd, Dunn Elementary

3rd place: Isabella Rios, Cross Timbers Intermediate

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