ANNUAL STATE ESSAY CONTEST
HONORS CONNECTICUT FOURTH GRADERS
Hartford, CT -- June 5, 2002 -- The Connecticut
Office of Tourism and the Office of the Secretary of the State recognized
twenty-five fourth graders for their writing skills in this year's 8th Annual
State Essay Contest. The contest, co-sponsored by the two agencies, challenged
fourth grade students from elementary schools statewide to explore and report on
unique places to visit in Connecticut. The awards ceremony was held this
afternoon in the Old Judiciary Room at the State Capitol.
First Lady Patricia L. Rowland, Honorary Chair
of the Connecticut Tourism Council; Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz; and
Ed Dombroskas, executive director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism
recognized the winners. Guest author Deb Adamson signed copies of her latest
book Stormy, the Baby Dolphin. Students statewide submitted essays on the topic:
Describe a unique place in Connecticut, and why you would recommend this place
to someone visiting the state.
Mrs. Rowland congratulated the winners and said,
" Every year Connecticut's fourth graders discover, and rediscover the
wonder of the many places and tourist attractions across our state. This is an
inspiring program for us as well as the students and we are proud to participate
in this way to educate and instill pride in our state. This essay contest is an
excellent opportunity for students to learn outside the classroom context --
through first-hand knowledge. Their independent discoveries of Connecticut's
tourism assets and their self-expression in the essays are valuable skills, and
I'm so pleased to share their experiences."
Winning essays in five divisions explored a wide
range of personal discoveries, from those of historical and cultural heritage to
observations on nature and state parks in Connecticut. Maria Catenacci, a first
place winner and student at All Saints Catholic School in Westport described her
hometown's most unique asset - the Saugatuck River -- and why it makes her feel
as if she's a part of its history. She described the riverscape's changing
seasons and recalled some of the historic events that took place on its shores.
Ryan Polo, a first place winner from Veterans
Park School, explained that on a recent visit to the Yale Art Gallery in New
Haven he learned a lot about art and encouraged his audience to visit: "I
think you should go to the Yale Art Gallery. It is great. You might be like me
and see an old piece in a very new way."
"The students communicate such pride in
their state through the topics they chose and the words they use in these
essays; we are delighted to be a co-sponsor of this annual program that
reinforces creative writing skills while inspiring Connecticut's fourth grade
students to become active citizens and learn about our state's unique
qualities." said Susan Bysiewicz.
Winners received award certificates and
"Full of Surprises" bags that included an array of admission tickets
and souvenirs from state attractions. In addition, each student received copies
of guest author Deb Adamson's book Stormy, the Baby Dolphin, which she signed
for each student at the end of the ceremony. Essays of the top five winners will
be posted on the Office of Tourism's website, www.ctbound.org
in the 4-kids section, as well as on the ConneCTkids website, www.kids.state.ct.us.
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- A complete list of winners, their schools
and towns is attached to the release.
- Copies of the essays are available upon
- Photographs of each of the 25 finalists
will be available a few days following the event.