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Hereford Students Squash the Competition in Statewide Contest
Written by Kelly Kalb Correspondent
2017-01-25

Hereford Elementary fourth grade students who entered the state Department of Agriculture calendar contest, designed to enhance awareness of the Spotted Lanternfly, were recognized at an assembly Friday. Front row, left to right: Nolan McCloskey, Ashlee Shafer, Ashlee Brandis, Kiera Boyle, Ellie Landes, Eden Kraus, Amelia Taylor, Elyse Kreiner, Maansi Birru and Allison Gentilcore. Second row: Christine Rice, Jeff Fries, Sean Arney, John Baker, Dana Rhodes, Fred Strathmeyer, Dr. Alexis McGloin, D. Wayne Bender, and Maureen Zavadel.

        Hereford Elementary School students are leading the charge to educate state residents about the Spotted Lanternfly – an invasive insect that may threaten area woodland resources.

        Earlier this year, students at the school learned about the insect and were invited to participate in the 2017 Spotted Lanternfly Awareness Calendar Contest. The contest asked students to create artwork reflecting the "Look Before You Leave" campaign launched by the state. The slogan encourages residents to inspect vehicles and other items being taken out of quarantined areas to prevent the leaf hopper from hitching a ride to other regions.

        "I asked that all students make a rough copy, but it was up to them if they wanted to see the project all the way through," said fourth grade teacher Christine Rice. "I am passionate about science education, so this was a perfect outlet to extend interest and knowledge about an environmental concern."

        On Friday, an awards assembly was held for all fourth graders at the school to recognize two students whose artwork was selected for the calendar. 

        Amelia Taylor, a student in Rice's class, scored the highest of all participants in the state and won the grand prize. Her artwork is displayed on the front cover and inside the 2017 Spotted Lanternfly Awareness Calendar. She received a certificate, prize pack, poster and cash prize of $50.

        Eden Kraus, also a student in Rice's class, took fourth place and her artwork was used within the calendar. She received a certificate, prize bag and poster.

        "I was ecstatic to hear the results of the contest for a few reasons. First of all, what an amazing accomplishment! I love that we are recognizing talent, effort and creativity put forth by all of the Hereford participants. Also, as a statewide contest, it is an extreme honor and an experience that these students will hopefully remember for a lifetime," Rice said.

        The awards assembly brought out several representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture including Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council Executive Director D. Wayne Bender; Spotted Lanternfly Project Coordinator John Baker; Dana Rhodes, Plant Inspection Program specialist; and Fred Strathmeyer, deputy secretary for Plant Industry and Consumer Protection.

        Hereford Elementary School students are leading the charge to educate state residents about the Spotted Lanternfly – an invasive insect that may threaten area woodland resources.

        Earlier this year, students at the school learned about the insect and were invited to participate in the 2017 Spotted Lanternfly Awareness Calendar Contest. The contest asked students to create artwork reflecting the "Look Before You Leave" campaign launched by the state. The slogan encourages residents to inspect vehicles and other items being taken out of quarantined areas to prevent the leaf hopper from hitching a ride to other regions.

        "I asked that all students make a rough copy, but it was up to them if they wanted to see the project all the way through," said fourth grade teacher Christine Rice. "I am passionate about science education, so this was a perfect outlet to extend interest and knowledge about an environmental concern."

        On Friday, an awards assembly was held for all fourth graders at the school to recognize two students whose artwork was selected for the calendar. 

        Amelia Taylor, a student in Rice's class, scored the highest of all participants in the state and won the grand prize. Her artwork is displayed on the front cover and inside the 2017 Spotted Lanternfly Awareness Calendar. She received a certificate, prize pack, poster and cash prize of $50.

        Eden Kraus, also a student in Rice's class, took fourth place and her artwork was used within the calendar. She received a certificate, prize bag and poster.

        "I was ecstatic to hear the results of the contest for a few reasons. First of all, what an amazing accomplishment! I love that we are recognizing talent, effort and creativity put forth by all of the Hereford participants. Also, as a statewide contest, it is an extreme honor and an experience that these students will hopefully remember for a lifetime," Rice said.

        The awards assembly brought out several representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture including Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council Executive Director D. Wayne Bender; Spotted Lanternfly Project Coordinator John Baker; Dana Rhodes, Plant Inspection Program specialist; and Fred Strathmeyer, deputy secretary for Plant Industry and Consumer Protection.

        Hereford Elementary School Principal Jeff Fries and Vice Principal Maureen Zavadel, and the district's Assistant Superintendent Sean Arney and Superintendent Dr. Alexis McGloin were also in attendance, congratulating the students and their families.

        The students learned about the contest after the state Department of Agriculture's WoodMobile stopped at the school last fall.  

        The traveling exhibit is housed in a 34-foot trailer and provides education to 4th grade students about the state's forest resources and products for industry.  Bender provided an overview about the forests and encouraged students to use the touchscreen technology in the WoodMobile to interact with threats to the forests. These threats include invasive insects and plants, as well as diseases and white-tail deer.

        Students also learned about the Spotted Lanternfly and Emerald Ash Borer, both invasive insects attacking the state's forests.  The Spotted Lanternfly was specifically highlighted by Bender in an effort to teach the students to "Look Before You Leave."  He described the insect as a "bad pest," because it has the potential to immensely impact viticulture (grapes), tree fruits, plant nurseries and timber industries.

        After the students learned about the Spotted Lanternfly, they began drafting their calendar submissions.

        "I was so excited to start the rough draft. Then Mrs. Rice gave out the good copy paper and I just started drawing to my heart's content! My inspiration was the tree in my neighborhood. It had spotted lanternflies everywhere and I enjoyed picking them off with my friends. I never thought I would win. I'm just overjoyed and excited," Kraus said.

        "My inspiration was Mrs. Rice, actually," Taylor said. "As for the people coming from Harrisburg to my school, I am honored. I didn't even know there would be a ceremony or that it was for the entire state."

        Fourth graders Nolan McCloskey, Allison Gentilcore, Kiera Boyle, Maansi Birru, Elyse Kreiner, Ashlee Shafer and Ellie Landes – all of Rice's class – and Ashlee Brandis, of Suzanne Kulp's class, also submitted entries to the contest.

        "With over 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, we have a lot of winners right here," said Fries. "This makes all of us Hereford Proud."

        To learn more about Pennsylvania forests and invasive insects, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us.


 

 

 

 

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