Children encouraged to enter poster, essay contests that paint pictures of local history

PLATTSBURGH - The annual Battle of Plattsburgh Poster Contest and Battle of Plattsburgh Essay Contest have returned with chances for students to research and tell the story of the War of 1812 battle through their art and the written word.

Poster contest coordinator Jane Claffey said entries for the poster contest - which is open only to fourth-grade students - "keep getting better all the time."

"It's unbelievable to see [the students'] creativity," she said. "They really work hard at it."

The student whose artwork is chosen as the winning submission will have his or her design featured on general admission buttons for the annual Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration Weekend this fall. In addition, the winner will have the opportunity to ride in the annual parade that weekend, if they so choose.

"And, they always so choose," laughed Claffey.

The first place winner also receives a $100 savings bond donated by TD Bank. Second receives a $75 bond and third receives a $50 bond. The top three posters will also be framed and put on display at the Battle of Plattsburgh Museum.

The essay contest, which is open to students in grades 4-12, involves students writing about the pivotal 19th century battle.

Battle of Plattsburgh Museum manager Kristina Parker-Wingler, who oversees the essay contest, said she looks forward to reading the essays each year.

"It's really fun to read them and it's neat to see the kids get really excited about this," said Parker-Wingler. "It's one way we can actively bring history out of the textbooks."

Entries for the essay contest must be submitted by Friday, April 9, with winners to be notified by Friday, April 30. In each grade level - 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12 - first place will receive $200, second will receive $100 and third will take home $50, all courtesy of Key Bank. An award reception will also be held Saturday, May 8.

Entries for the poster contest may be in any medium but must be in color and no larger than 12 inches by 18 inches. The poster must be scannable to create the button image.

The deadline for poster entries is April 30. Submissions should be returned to the North Country Teacher Resource Center, located in Room 320 of SUNY Plattsburgh's Sibley Hall, 101 Broad St. Only one entry is allowed per student.

For additional guidelines for the poster contest, contact Claffey at 561-4296. More information about the essay contest may be obtained from Parker-Wingler at 566-1814.

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