WES students pen winning essays on the American Dream

Three fifth-grade students whose essay were selected for prizes are pictured standing between assistant principal and the principal in front of a bulletin board in the elementary school lobby.Three Watervliet Elementary School students were selected the top three finalists in the 2022 Americanism essay contest sponsored locally by the Watervliet Elks Lodge #1500.

Yeva Balashova and Arash Helal, both fifth-graders in Mrs. Bird’s class, and Aubrey Bennett, a fifth-grader in Mr. Travers’ class, wrote the prize-winning essays based on this year’s theme: “What Is Your American Dream?” The Elks USA organization sponsors an annual American essay contest for students across the country to challenge young minds to explore American values and the responsibility of citizenship.

An officer from the Watervliet Elks visited the elementary school in March to congratulate the students and award the prizes. Yeva received the top prize, while Arash and Aubrey received second and third place prizes, respectively.

Watervliet Elks representatives judged the essays on the following criteria: originality, development of theme, and mechanics and neatness.

Elks officer greets essay winner and hands the student a prize. Elks officer greets essay winner and hands the student a prize, as the assistant principal stands nearby clapping. Elks officer shakes hands with an essay winner as another students and assistant principal stand nearby.

Congratulations to all!