On Thursday, May 9th, the Rotarians invited the winning 6th grade students and their parents to attend the Rotary meeting to read their winning essays and receive their awards.  In front of a crowd the students proudly read their essays and answered a few follow-up questions after.

The first-place winner of $100 was Jose Melendez with an essay about the need to plant trees in our local park where so many have died.  “The campers prefer a shaded area.” Little did Jose know, that project is in the works already and his wish will come true.  1stplaceJose4wayTest Essay

The second place $50 winner was Carlee Smith with an essay about the need for a dog at the same park so campers and walkers could leave their dogs in a safe fenced-in area instead of roaming all over.  2ndplaceCarlee4-Way

The third-place winner of $25 was Addison Dalrymple.  Her essay spoke about the need for lockers at the local pool.  They have to leave their belongings, as well as their phones, on benches around the pool.  Several times, people have stolen items when the swimmers weren’t looking.  3rdPlaceAddison4-Way.

“I am proud to say that the Arnold Rotary Club has reinstated the 4-Way Test Essay Contest.  We used guidelines that Bob Taylor used in the past and then updated the information, rules and awards.  I am a Rotarian and I am a 6-10th Grade English and Journalism teacher, and I am the one that offered the essay contest in my 6th-grade classroom,” said Nicole Badgley.

The students used the materials our Rotary Club purchased, a children’s book titled “Andy and Elmer’s Apple Dumpling Adventure” and “Becky and Lin’s Apple Orchard Park,” to demonstrate the concept of the 4-Way test when it is applied to a community situation.  Though they were children’s book, they were a fast and effective way to demonstrate how a couple of kids could change their community for the better.

One Rotarian said, “It was nice to see our community through the eyes of a child.  They actually see what the village needs that adults never pay attention to.”

The kids had some amazing ideas that when the Rotary members judged them, they kept the essays for future projects.  Rotary also took a couple of the essays to the Village Board since some of the work would be under their jurisdiction for repairs.