Bright Futures for 2012 SMART529 Contest Winners
Over 3,200 entries were received from West Virginia children for the 2012 “When I Grow Up” Essay Contest. 15 essays were selected, and their authors received a $500 SMART529 account as the contest prize. An additional $4,500 in a SMART529 account is also awarded to Ahmed Amir, who is the grand prize winner. His name was selected during a random drawing held at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston on May 1.
The schools the children attend are also winners! The principal of each received a check for $500 to support school programs.
The SMART529 "When I Grow Up" essay contest is in its fifth year. 15 children are awarded prizes for their juried essays annually, with 75 West Virginia children having received SMART529 accounts since the contest's inception.
The students' entries were judged by State Board of Education Board Member Priscilla Haden and Charleston Daily Mail Editor and Publisher Nanya Friend.
2012 "When I Grow Up" Contest Winners
|Ava||6||Clear Fork District||Raleigh||Zoologist|
|Ahmed||8||Maxwell Hill Elementary||Raleigh||Down Syndrome Specialist|
|Kiley||5||East Hardy Early Middle||Hardy||Dolphin Trainer|
|Danica||7||Bunker Hill Elementary||Berkeley||Teacher|
|Emily||10||Orchard View Intermediate||Berkeley||Photographer|
|Zoe||6||New Manchester Elementary||Hancock||Zoo Keeper|
|Levi||8||Middle Creek Elementary||Ohio||Marine Biologist|
SMART529 awarded $2,500 cash to Jennifer Loudermilk of The Linsly School in Wheeling on May 4 in a ceremony at the WV State Cultural Center. In this 2nd annual contest, teachers were asked to write about how they planned to use SMART529 lesson plans in their classroom to encourage children to think about going to college.
Loudermilk's lesson plan centered around her students choosing a profession and then asking them to research businesses in West Virginia that provide those careers.
Her fifth graders also spent time focusing on how their prospective profession serves the community.
The teachers' entries were judged by Terry Reale, a consultant with the West Virginia Department of Education and its former coordinator for English and language arts.
The "When I Grow Up" Essay Contest and the Teachers' Essay Contest are sponsored by the SMART529 College Savings Program and the West Virginia State Treasurer's Office to promote awareness of SMART529 and the need to save for college. SMART529 worked with West Virginia teachers to develop lesson plans to assist with practice for the WESTEST. They are available here.
Information about this year's essay contest was made available through the SMART529.com website, in the SMART529 program's winter school newsletter "SMARTFamily News," as well as through direct mail. 160,000 newsletters were distributed through public and elementary schools across the state. Mailings were sent to West Virginia families with elementary school children, prompting interest from home-schooled children as well.