STUDENT COASTAL ADVOCATES WIN $5,000 FOR THEIR SCHOOLS IN AMERICA’S WETLAND FOUNDATION CONTEST | America's Wetland

Source: STUDENT COASTAL ADVOCATES WIN $5,000 FOR THEIR SCHOOLS IN AMERICA’S WETLAND FOUNDATION CONTEST | America’s Wetland

 

STUDENT COASTAL ADVOCATES WIN $5,000 FOR THEIR SCHOOLS IN AMERICA’S WETLAND FOUNDATION CONTEST

STUDENT COASTAL ADVOCATES WIN $5,000 FOR THEIR SCHOOLS IN AMERICA’S WETLAND FOUNDATION CONTEST

Art, photography and essay winners to help replant wetlands

NEW ORLEANS – Nine Louisiana school students won $5,000 for their classrooms on World Wetlands Day as a result of America’s WETLAND Foundation’s (AWF) 10th anniversary special “Keep Your Eye on the Prize” contest.

The students – including four in one school in Lake Charles and four from the New Orleans area–each will receive $5,000 grants for their classrooms, earmarked for educational materials, equipment, and a school wetlands restoration project coordinated by the Foundation.  Overall winners in the art, photography and essay categories won $1,000 for additional classroom equipment.

“We’re proud to announce these winners today on World Wetlands Day because of our mission to raise state, regional and national awareness of the plight of Louisiana’s wetlands,” said R. King Milling, founder and chair of AWF. “We work with schools to educate future leaders.”

The awards are the largest in AWF history and come as a result of the organization’s upcoming 10-year anniversary. Students were asked to provide art, photography and essay submissions in response to the questions, “How can Louisiana adapt to coastal land loss?” and “Why should the area known as ‘America’s WETLAND’ be saved?”

“This 10th anniversary contest is an extension of our public education mission,” said Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach, a member of the AWF’s Board of Directors.  “The entries from the hundreds who entered this contest, including those from our community, show that they have paid attention to the story of the wetlands and why the marshes of Louisiana are so critically important to the nation.”

Val Marmillion, AWF managing director, noted students understand the importance of restoring the wetlands. “The success of the contest’s purpose is illustrated by the closing lines of the overall winning essay, written by sixth grader Justin Hugger, 11, of Metairie. He wrote, ’It is a choice to save the wetlands. Let’s all make a personal decision to do this.’”

The judges for the contest were Martine Chaisson, owner of The Martine Chaisson Gallery of Fine Art, New Orleans; noted photographer Bevil Knapp, co-author of the photo publication “America’s WETLAND: Louisiana’s Vanishing Coast,” Covington; Jean May-Brett of the Louisiana Science Teachers Association and the State Department of Education, Baton Rouge; Sidney Coffee, senior adviser to AWF, Baton Rouge; and Marmillion. The distinguished panel judged the entries without knowing the students’ names or schools, as each entry was only numbered.

The winners, by category, are: (overall winners in each category are noted by an asterisk. Those students received an additional $1,000 for their class.)

PHOTOGRAPHY:
•    Grades K-3 winner: Kaitlin Miller, 7, of Ragley, a student in Candace Marque’s second grade classroom, Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School, Lake Charles.
•    * Grades 4-7 winner: Aniese Kattash, 11, of Lake Charles, a student in Beverly Kelley’s sixth grade class at Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School, Lake Charles.
•    Grades 8-12 winner: Emily Hart, 14, of Lake Charles, a student in Beverly Kelley’s eighth grade class, Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School in Lake Charles.

ART
•    Grades K-3 winner: Wesley Maze, 9, of Bell City, a student in teacher Libby Richards’ third grade class at Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School, Lake Charles.
•    Grades 4-7 winner: Dalton Baglio, 10, of Montz, a student in teacher Jessica Thomas’ fourth grade classroom at Norco Elementary School, Norco.
•    * Grades 8-12 winner: Brittany Stagg, 15, of St. Francisville, a student in teacher Killian Williams’ tenth grade classroom at West Feliciana High School, St. Francisville.

ESSAY:
•    Grades K-3 winner: Athena Marks, 8, of New Orleans, a student in teacher
Catherine Coyle’s third grade classroom, Morris Jeff Elementary, New Orleans.
•    *  Grades 4-7 winner: Justin Hugger, 11, Metairie, a student in teacher Juliet Kellam’s sixth grade classroom at Haynes Academy, Metairie.
•    Grades 8-12 winner: Alyssa Duffourc, 13, a student in teacher Angela’s Griffin’s eighth grade classroom, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology School, Jefferson.

Local officials — accompanied by The Estuarians or “Estys,” the action heroes that represent wildlife and fisheries in the wetlands– will present the checks on behalf of the AWF at a school visit this spring. In addition, the winning classrooms will participate in a restoration project.  Planting partners in the restoration projects include the AWF, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Barataria –  Terrebonne National Estuary Program, Common Ground Relief and Bayou Rebirth.

Cooperating partners who helped promote the contest in the schools include the LSU AgCenter, Youth Wetlands Week, the Louisiana Science Teachers Association and Louisiana Coastal Roots.

You can view the winning entries by clicking here!

The America’s WETLAND Foundation manages the largest, most comprehensive public education campaign in Louisiana’s history, raising public awareness of the impact of Louisiana’s wetland loss on the state, nation and world. The America’s Energy Coast initiative works to sustain the environmental and economic assets of the Gulf Coast region. The initiative is supported by a growing coalition of world, national and state conservation and environmental organizations and has drawn private support from businesses that see wetlands protection as a key to economic growth. For more information, visit www.americaswetland.com or www.futureofthegulfcoast.org.

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