Fifteen West Virginia school children are on their way to a brighter future through SMART529 after winning regional awards in the 2011 When I Grow Up essay contest.
The 15 were selected out of nearly 3,000 entries from all over West Virginia, and each wins a $500 SMART529 WV Direct account.
An additional $4,500 in a SMART529 account was awarded to Taylor Islay of Wood County, a sixth grade student at Parkersburg Catholic Elementary, whose name was selected during a random drawing held at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston May 4.
The schools the children attend were also winners; each received $500 to support school programs.
For the first time, SMART529 awarded $2,500 cash to a West Virginia teacher who wrote an essay about how she planned to use SMART529 lesson plans in her classroom to encourage children to think about going to college.
The When I Grow Up essay contest and the Teachers’ Essay Contest are sponsored by the SMART529 College Savings program and the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office to promote awareness of SMART529 and the need to save for college.
SMART529 worked with West Virginia teachers to develop lesson plans to assist with practice for the WESTEST.
The students’ entries were judged by State Board of Education Vice-Chair Priscilla Haden, Charleston Daily Mail Editor and Publisher Nanya Friend and The Manahan Group Art Director Abbey Fiorelli. The teachers’ entries were judged by Terry Reale, a consultant with the West Virginia Department of Education and its former coordinator for English and language arts.
Below is a list of the winners:
- Six-year-old Jackson Akers from Justice Elementary in Logan County
- Seven-year-old Rachel Fama from St. Francis de Sales in Raleigh County
- Ten-year-old Caitlyn N. Daniels from Maxwell Hill Elementary in Raleigh County
- Five-year-old Tanner Kelly from Culloden Elementary in Cabell County
- Seven-year-old Gabriel J. May from Marmet Elementary in Kanawha County
- Ten-year-old Eythen Anthony from Cross Lanes Elementary in Kanawha County
- Six-year-old Isabella McNaboe from Belington Elementary in Barbour County
- Seven-year-old Elias Wyckoff from Monongah Elementary in Marion County
- Eleven-year-old Jenna Love from Simpson Elementary in Harrison County
- Seven-year-old Piper Cole from Brandywine Elementary in Pendleton County
- Eight-year-old Tanner Rogers from Berkeley Heights Elementary in Berkeley County
- Ten-year-old Tyson Marlow from Wright Denny Intermediate in Jefferson County
- Six-year-old Taylor Isaly from Parkersburg Catholic Elementary in Wood County
- Seven-year-old Emilie Asher from St. Mary’s Elementary in Pleasants County
- Eleven-year-old Chase Lang from Gihon Elementary in Wood County