Meadville Tribune

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April 13, 2013

Winning essays a call to action to protect children

MEADVILLE — The Meadville Tribune is teaming up with Optical Filters USA and Crawford County Court Appointed Special Advocates in order to increase awareness of April as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month by publishing the winners of a student essay contest on today’s Opinion&Comment page.

Seven local students earned prizes for writing winning essays in a contest sponsored by Optical Filters USA and Crawford County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). All winners in the high school division are from Saegertown Junior-Senior High School. Seton Catholic School in Meadville and Cochranton Junior-Senior High School share winners in the middle school division of the contest.

The contests, sponsored by Optical Filters USA and CASA, provided a forum to recognize the importance of family and the fundamental rights of children in the prevention of child abuse. The announcement of the essay contest was sent to principals, librarians and teachers in Crawford Central, Conneaut, PENNCREST, Seton and Titusville schools. Prizes are iPads for first-place winners, iPods for second place and e-readers for third place. Prizes are awarded by Nicola Dent Fisher, chief executive officer of Optical Filters USA, who donated the prizes.

Ashley M. Bradshaw won first place for her essay entitled “Rights of Children.” She was among 62 students in grades 10, 11 and 12 who submitted 300-word essays addressing the theme, “The Fundamental Rights of Children.” The second-place winner is Lynn Neal for her essay, “The Rights of a Child.” Haley Price took third place for her essay, “It Shouldn’t Hurt to be a Kid.” An honorable mention was awarded to Savannah Anderton for her submission, “Experience Dictates.”

Fifty-three essays were submitted in the middle school division (grades 7, 8 and 9) on “The Importance of Family.” Colton Pointz, a seventh-grader at Seton Catholic School, earned first place for his essay, “Family Matters.” Second place went to Mackenzie Wheaton, also seventh grade at Seton Catholic School, for “The Family Present.” Madelyn Kapfhammer, a seventh-grader from Cochranton, took third place for her essay “Extraordinary Trees.”

The essays were read by a panel of judges coordinated by Barb Spencer, a retired teacher and CASA volunteer. Other judges were Joyce Logan, Joanne Cihon, Judy Griffin and Nancy Haytock. Essays were evaluated on content development, sentence structure, work choice and grammar.

A total of 105 essays were submitted — 78 from Saegertown Junior-Senior High School, 16 from Seton Catholic School, eight from Cochranton Junior-Senior High School and three from Meadville Area Middle School.

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