SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Lisa Bonnett today honored a group of distinguished fifth and sixth grade students selected for their creative skills used to express environmental awareness, as part of the Agency’s 27th Annual Poster, Poetry and Prose Contest. The writers and artists selected from throughout Illinois were recognized at a reception in the Old State Capitol building in downtown Springfield.
This year’s theme, Environmental Justice for All! What Are the Environmental Issues in Your Community?, focused on why the balance of the economy and a healthy environment are important, and how it relates to the local community. This was a new topic this year in an effort to keep up with emerging issues such as environmental justice.
“These students are impressive—not only because they are talented and well spoken individuals—but because they are using their skills to help spread a positive message,” Governor Quinn said. “These students understand the importance of environmental awareness and are using creative ways to spread knowledge which will help future generations learn and grow in a clean, healthy environment.”
“This year’s theme gives students an understanding of the importance of being involved in their community and the role they play in providing for a healthy environment in the world around them,” said Director Bonnett. “Students creatively demonstrate the environmental knowledge they have gained, which reemphasizes their lessons and shows their individual perspective.”
Poetry/Prose Top Award Winners
Jessica Bek, Washington School, Glenview
Laura Dudzik, Washington School, Glenview
Emily Hwang, Old St. Mary's School, Chicago
Rishitha Namburi, Hoover Math & Science Academy, Schaumburg
Neha Nath, Hoover Math & Science Academy, Schaumburg
Zoe Marika Sarris, Hellenic American Academy, Deerfield
Posters Top Award Winners
Linnea Cheng, Hoover Math & Science Academy, Schaumburg
Emma Blair Davenport, Hoover Math & Science Academy, Schaumburg
Michelle John, Washington School, Glenview
Charlie Miller, Washington School, Glenview
Jyoti Sundaram, Countryside School, Champaign
David Tapper, Roycemore School, Evanston
A panel of representatives from the Illinois EPA judged all entries and selected the finalists, whose entries were then judged by an outside panel of authorities, to determine the top 12 winners.
The students, their families, and teachers were invited to the reception at which the top 12 winners received environmental reference books for their school libraries. The winners, along with all finalists, also received certificates and ribbons for their creative efforts. A complete listing of winners, including Special Recognition recipients, will be on the Illinois EPA web site at: www.epa.state.il.us. In addition to the award, tours of the Old State Capitol were given to winners before and after the awards ceremony.
Following the ceremony, the winning entries will be on exhibit in the atrium at Illinois EPA’s headquarters in Springfield from March 31 through April 30; the top 12 entries will also be featured on the Illinois EPA’s web site.
Information about the annual event can be obtained by contacting Kristi Morris, Environmental Education Coordinator for the Illinois EPA at 1021 North Grand Avenue East, P.O. Box 19276, Springfield, IL, 62794-9276, or Kristi.Morris@Illinois.gov.