KIDS: Essay Contest

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Feature Story - Annual State Essay Contest

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Connecticut  Tourism Honors Winners
Hartford, CT. June 2, 2005

Connecticut Tourism and the Office of the Secretary of State recognized twenty-five fourth graders for their writing skills in this year's 11th Annual Essay Contest. The contest, co-sponsored by the two agencies, challenged fourth grade students from elementary schools statewide to explore and report on unique places to visit in Connecticut. 

Congratulations to all the Winners!

See the five winning ESSAYS below: Rose's Berry Farm  |  Mashantucket Pequot Museum | New Haven Green | Seaside Park | Thimble Islands |

The winner's name, school, teacher and division are indicated on each.

2nd Place, 3rd Place and Honorable Mentions

Rose's Berry Farm
by Samantha Weber, Gildersleeve School - Portland
1st Place - Division 1
Teacher - Mrs. Fuqua


Have you ever had Breakfast With a View?  If you haven't, then Rose's Berry Farm is the place to go.  Located in South Glastonbury Mattson Hill Road, Rose's Sunday breakfast has the most amazing waffles and pancakes, all served with the best seasonal fruit toppings you've every had.  Early in the season, you'll get the sweetest strawberries and then later in the summer comes juicy blueberries and delicious apples.  If you think you have enough room, there's also a basket filled with assorted muffins and other baked goods - all homemade!

What's the view?  Just imagine sitting on a deck and enjoying the gentle summer breeze along with your delicious breakfast!  You can see the fields where Henry and Sandra Rose grow strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and apples.  You might even see a group of people picking their own fruits right from the field.  Well, you won't see them, but you'll see their tall flag sticking out of the top of the crops!

After breakfast, stroll down the hill to the big red farm stand and browse through the many different jams made from the berries right at the farm.  If you're not sure which jam you might like, there's a sample counter filled with their jams and lots of crackers so you can find your own favorite!  You can also buy pies, muffins, vinegars, salad dressings, fruit baskets and other fresh goodies.  There are also many great gift items available in the store.

But Rose's is not just for breakfast.  You're welcome to visit in the fall for a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to pick your very own pumpkin.  While you're there, you can also enjoy face painting, music, and a trip through the hay maze.

During December, Rose's has a Christmas shop where you can buy wreaths, ornaments, candles and other holiday decorations.  While you wander and shop, Rose's provides complimentary coffee, tea, hot cider and hot cocoa!  Oh, and if you need a Christmas tree, you can follow their map and tag your own tree. Rose's will be happy to cut i down and tie it right to your car.

The Rose Family has been farming in Connecticut for almost 100 years and you'll love their hospitality.  If you've had a terrific baked goodie, there's a good chance that they will give you the recipe so you can make it at home.  Rose's is also happy to give you helpful tips about picking and storing your favorite berries.

Their Sunday breakfast is served from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. from Father's Day to the last Sunday in October.  If have visited Rose's Berry Farm many times and I've had lots of great Sunday breakfasts.  I love to bring friends and family who have never been and watch their amazement with the delicious and beautiful Breakfast With A View!!  It's Connecticut at it's Berry Best!

Mashantucket Pequot Museum
by Brittnie Stoy, Quaker Hill School - Quaker Hill
1st Place - Division 2
- Mrs. Podeszwa - Gr. 4

Mashantucket Pequot Museum

 Are you looking for a great place to go in Connecticut?  Well I know just the place.  You should go to the fantastic place called the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Ledyard.  There are many great reasons you should go to the Pequot museum, but I will tell you about its great villages, displays, and food.

The first thing I will tell you about is the villages.  It has a simulated eastern woodland village from the 1600's.  In this village there are Native Americans growing foods like their main crop of corn, beans, and squash.  One scene shows women keeping crows out of their garden by throwing stones at them.

There is also a Native American village from the early years after the ice age.  In this village there is a huge wooly mammoth.  A wooly mammoth is a relative of the elephant with horns.  Mammoths lived long ago, but are now extinct.  The ice age village is a cold one.  A good time to go to the ice age village might be in the summer on a tremendously hot day.  If you to there in the summer and your very hot, I am sure the ice age will cool you off.  The ice age area has a lot of ice and a beautiful waterfall ritht near the opening.  This village is shaped in a big circle carved into the ground and glass all around it, so nobody can get inside of it.  Inside of the huge circle you will see there are animals being killed.  The Indians used their skin for clothing and shelter, the meat for food, and their bones for tools.  After they killed these animals, they let the animals' blood flow into the earth.  This was to apologize to the animal for killing it.  They would pray to the animal god because the animal would give them many good reasons to use its skin, bones, and meat.

Do you enjoy looking at real artifacts from history?  There are so many display to see Native American clothing, tools and real stuffed animals from the eastern woodland region.  My favorite displays showed genuine Pequot artwork and hand-made tools.  You can even watch a movie on how the Native Americans from the past made their tools.

And last, but not least, I will tell you about the food.  I haven't ever had any of the food from the museum but it sure looks delicious.  If you go to the museum with your family and forget to pack a lunch, you are in luck!  They sell food like bagels with cream cheese, yogurt and chewy warm pretzels.

So remember, if you and your family are tired of sitting on the couch all day and watching t.v., go to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum to have some fun in the villages, viewing the displays and eating the delicious food from the snack bar.

New Haven Green
by Hannah Medovnikov - Ezra Academy - Woodbridge
1st Place - Division 3
Teacher - Mrs. Berg

The New Haven Green

 The New Haven Green is where I love to go.  It is fun for us to go there.  It is beautiful there all year long.

In the summer the sun is beating down on your body, but, when the performer comes out you are ready to dance.  The performer makes you feel welcome to his or her house, the stage.  The music makes your bones feel tinglely and then you just want to get up and dance!  I see people playing, singing their favorite song, listening to the sweet sounds, talking about what happened yesterday at collage or work, dancing to the big band jazz sound and of course eating the food from their picnic baskets.  In summer and spring you will hear the sounds of people socialising, performers singing, instruments that make you go wild about that song and the laughter of children.  You lay and relax on you warm picnic blankets.  The New Haven Green doesn't exactly have a taste but the things around it sure do!  On hot summer days the ice cream will freshen you up.  The feel of the green is soft and hot.  The grass is soft and the sidewalks are hot in the summer days.

Spring is my favorite season for The Green.  All spring you see flowers blooming and trees getting back the leaves that the fall had stolen.  You will see dogs playing with their owners and the children chasing each other through the park.  As you are coming in with the picnic basket somebody else is too.  You hear the first song of the season and it's beautiful.  The smell of the green is fresh and like nothing else.  You will smell the fresh cut grass down on the ground and the smell of the flower nectar.  When you smell the flower it stays in your body, that sweet smell get you going.  You can hear the birds singing with the a band.  My feelings in spring are in a happy "mode".  It's fun hearing the first song of the season for which you have been waiting all winter long.  You will touch the grass.  It is so soft when you fall down.  You will feel that warm breeze passing by your face.  The freshly bloomed delicate flowers feel as soft as a peach.  They smell and feel so good, it seems they're good enough to eat.  They are beautiful in every way.

In the fall it is fascinating to see those colorful leaves that everybody loves to play in.  It's getting colder and winter is coming but there is still some music in your soul, in The Green.  You will smell the old book that the college kid is carrying to his next class and the warm coffee from Starbucks in the hands of someone.  You can eat the pizza that you can buy or eat the delicious juicy sandwiches.  I know if I fall I will be safe as the grass and leaves cuddle me like a parent.

In winter I touch the forest as it goes down on the soft grass like a blanket protecting the child from the cold.  I see the bare trees looking sad because fall had taken their colorful coats, the leaves, away.   Sidewalks are cold and the wind is bitterly cold, but you feel warm inside from thinking of those warm days that await you in summer.  I see the little delicate snowflakes falling on your sholders and on the grass.  I hear the soft crunch of the snow under my feet.  You hear the coldness in you. You can hear the ring of silence in the air.

All year the New Haven Green is great.  The two flags by the fountain are standing proud.  One for Connecticut and one for America.  All year long you hear the sound of the music.  All year you here the performance even though it might not be there.  You can see all year round the people coming out of boutiques and restaurants looking for entertainment.  And they go to The Green.  I hear the bell chiming regularly.  I always see college kids socialising on The Green telling about the next show at cabaret or the band that had played last week.  The feeling of The Green changes every time you go there.  It is a magical place of places you never knew existed.  You can find anything in New Haven.  Luckily I found the Green.

Seaside Park
by Jacqueline Rizzitelli - St. Catherine of Siena, Trubull
1st Place - Division 4
Teacher - Miss Franko

Seaside Park

Hi my name is Jenna, I am a seagull in the sky, flying over Seaside Park in Bridgeport.  I see a lot of beautiful sand castles, sand alligators, and sand turtles.  When it's nice and sunny, I see lots of people a the beach.  I love to eat their French fries and bread but my friends fight with me for them all the time.  I can even see the kites flying in the wind, but I have to be very careful not to get caught in them.  That wouldn't be fun at all.  I also fly over the Midway Carnival and love to eat popcorn from the ground.  You can see big, beautiful colors in the sky that are the fireworks around the Fourth of July.  All the other seagulls want me to learn about the park and why people like it so much, so here is my lesson for today.

Seaside Park is a fun place to go.  It was named in the early 1900's, but has been around a lot longer.  Seaside Park has many beautiful sites to see like The Bergh Memorial Fountain, Sea Grove, Washington Monument, and Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument which was built to represent Bridgeport men wh served during the Civil War.  Can you believe that there is a statue of Columbus, Elias How, and Phineus Taylor (P.T.) Barnum?  Back then P.T. Barnum lived at Seaside Park in a big house.  He did so much for the park and is the reason it is so beautiful today.  My Aunt told me that the Bishop also had a house there.  The Lighthouse that sits at the end of the park delighted many visitors in the early 1800's because they knew they were close to land.  At the entrance to the park, there are lots of fields to play sports.  Soccer and baseball are the most popular.

One day I met a little girl named Jackie and she told me what she likes about the beach.  She said that "every summer my mom and I go to Seaside Park.  The beach is really beautiful and filled with soft sand and clam but sometime cold water.  When we have storms, the waves are bigger than ever and that's lots of fun.  We like to watch people play baseball, tennis, softball, and volleyball, but also like to see people rollerblade, jog, and bike ride.  People have Picnics and parties that look like fun and all the kids swim in the water.  You can make magnificent sand castles when the tide is low and the sand is wet.  It is so soft on your feet.  They put an addition on the park that looks so pretty, and there is a playground now too.  The place where my mom and I usually sit has more showers, bathrooms, and more food places.  The park has ice cream carts too for those hot summer days and beautiful brown horses that have policemen on them.  They always let me pet them.  When I am at the beach I see the Port Jefferson Ferry making its way to and from Long Island.  It is big and white.  I love to see it glide by in the water.  Some days, jet skiers also join in on the fun, but when they are there you can't always go in the water.  But I guess the most wonderful part of being at Seasode Park is lookin at the beautiful water and beautiful sky with you and your friends flying by from my sandy towel to the beach.  I think it's the pest place to be on a hot summer day."

Jenna then said, "I had so much fun learning about the history and what humans like about Seaside Park.  I guess my friends and I are lucky that we live here.  Maybe if you tell you friends to pass the word around and I tell my friends, lots more birds and people will come visit.  See you the next time you're here Jackie and don't forget the bread."

Thimble Islands
by Lindsey Bull - Sarah Nobel Intermediate School - New Milford
Mrs. Coope
1st Place - Division 5
Teacher - Mrs. Coope

Thimble Islands

 Have you ever heard of the Thimble Islands?  They are on the coast of Long Island Sound in Branford, CT.  Boat tours are popular of the Thimble Islands as well as kayaking, canoeing, swimming, diving, and fishing.  The many islands, houses and famous people are the main attractions of the Thimble Islands.  I will tell you about these exciting islands.

The Mattabesec Indians named these islands "the beautiful se rocks".  Depending on what you call an island there are between 100 and 365 islands that make up the Thimble Islands. Only 12 of the islands are inhabited.  If you wanted to you could visit one island a day for a whole year!

 There are many different houses on the Thimble Islands.  Each on is very unique!  One house is built on stilts to keep from flooding in high waters.  Another is built on rocks to protect it from a hurricane.  A deadly thing happened in 1938; a hurricane washed seven people to death and also destroyed several islands.  There are actually islands with just one house on them.  One problem about living on the different islands is that it is hard to go every day to shore and back to your house.  Would you like to live on a house on stilts and take a boat ride everywhere?

Even Capitan Kidd, the famous pirate, is one of the Thimbles Islands' famous people.  He hid his treasure on Money Island.  Can you guess which famous circus midget lived on the Thimble Island?  It was Tom Thumb who worked for the Barnum and Bailey Circus.  Even a United States president, President Taft, had a summer home on this island.  The Thimble Islands are very interesting and fun place to visit.

When you don't want to take a boat tour you can do so many other things.  Kayaking is perfect for fun adventures in the water and so is canoeing.  Just don't tip over! Splash! Just dive off the boardwalks and have a perfect swim.

Did you find this very interesting? I did!  If you want to find out more just go on the boat tour and visit the Thimble Islands.  Just think, you can you visit an island a day for a whole year!

2nd Place, 3rd Place and Honorable Mentions

Division 1

2nd Place, Katie Ambler, Edna C. Stevens School, Cromwell

3rd Place, Carl Greeley, St. Peter School, Torrington

Hon. Mention, Elizabeth Boniewicz-Szabo, St. Francis of Assisi, Torrington

Hon. Mention, Rachel Kostraba, Gildersleeve School, Portland

Division 2

2nd Place, Ki-Juana McDaniel, Eli Whitney School, Enfield

3rd Place, Becky Labbe, Eli Whitney School, Enfield

Hon. Mention, Ruthie Guhne, H. Bernard School, Enfield

Hon. Mention, Sara Barksdale, Eli Whitney School, Enfield

Division 3

2nd Place, Martin Chromik, St. Francis of Assisi, Naugatuck

3rd Place, Margot A. Leibowitz, Ezra Academy, Woodbridge

Hon. Mention, Laura Campbell, St. Mary's School, Milford

Hon. Mention, Paul Tupper, St. Mary's School, Milford

Division 4

2nd Place, Adam Rosenthal, Green Farms School, Westport

3rd Place, Nina P. Robertson, Marvin Elementary School, Norwalk

Hon. Mention, Jack Corrigan, Greenwich Catholic School, Greenwich

Hon. Mention, Daniel Murphy, All Saints Catholic School

Division 5

2nd Place, Nora Hawley, St. Joseph School, Danbury

3rd Place, Kaitlin Aldridge, St. Joseph School, Danbury

Hon. Mention, Victoria Kozar, Sarah Noble Intermediate School, New Milford

Hon. Mention, Jacob Wiseman, Talcott Mountain Academy, Avon

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Content Last Modified on 6/22/2009 3:05:52 PM