Stu­dents honored for spread­ing mes­sage of kind­ness to an­i­mals

The Enquire-Gazette - - Front Page - By JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES jclinkscales@somd­news.com

Pro­mot­ing re­spon­si­ble pet care while spread­ing kind­ness and re­spect to­ward an­i­mals, the Prince Ge­orge’s County Depart­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment An­i­mal Man­age­ment Di­vi­sion held an awards cer­e­mony for its 23rd an­nual “Be Kind to An­i­mals” poster con­test at the An­i­mal Ser­vices Fa­cil­ity in Up­per Marl­boro.

Depart­ment of­fi­cials who spoke and pre­sented awards at the cer­e­mony in­cluded Deputy Direc­tor Joseph Gill, An­i­mal Man­age­ment Di­vi­sion As­so­ciate Direc­tor Chief Rod­ney Tay­lor and Joanne Brown, a vol­un­teer co­or­di­na­tor and hu­mane ed­u­ca­tor.

“The theme is to be kind to an­i­mals so we’re not look­ing for art but we’re look­ing for the mes­sage,” Tay­lor said as he stood be­fore a group of par­ents and chil­dren. “I think when you change a gen­er­a­tion, you start with the youth and I think we can change the world with how we take care of an­i­mals. I be­lieve the way we care for an­i­mals shows how we will take care of the com­mu­nity and the peo­ple in our com­mu­nity.”

This year, about 22 stu­dents were pre­sented with goodie bags and gift cards dur­ing the an­nual cer­e­mony which hon­ors el­e­men­tary stu­dents, in pri­vate or pub­lic school, for their cre­ative poster de­signs. There were seven first-, sec­ond- and third-place win­ners who re­ceived $75, $50 and $25 gift cards, re­spec­tively.

Trin­ity Wil­liams, a fourth grader who at­tends St. Mary’s School of Pis­cat­away in Clin­ton, won the grand prize — worth $100 — out of 2,200 other stu­dents who en­tered the con­test.

“Ever since she’s been lit­tle, she’s al­ways loved an­i­mals,” said

Les­lie Gard­ner of Wal­dorf, Wil­liams’ mother. “She’s al­ways had a soft spot for an­i­mals and she keeps say­ing she wants to be a vet so we’re just en­cour­ag­ing her to ful­fill her dream. We’re just so proud of her.”

Wil­liams’ aunt, Sarah Gard­ner, said her niece worked very hard on the poster and that it’s good to see that her hard work paid off.

“That’s what we try to in­still in her, that she has to work hard,” said Wil­liams’ grand­mother, Veron­ica Louise. “We’re very proud of her. It’s like win­ning the lot­tery be­cause we were so sur­prised.”

St. Mary’s School, rooted in Christ, sup­ports the de­vel­op­ment of stu­dents, their fam­i­lies and the com­mu­nity. St. Mary’s in­stills a Christ-cen­tered ed­u­ca­tion in its stu­dents by rec­og­niz­ing the worth and dig­nity of each in­di­vid­ual as a child of God, ac­cord­ing to the school’s web­site.

“I think it’s awe­some. I’m so proud of Trin­ity,” said Natalie Cook, Wil­liams’ fourth grade teacher. “I teach not only about an­i­mals but just all of God’s cre­ations and to take care of them.”

Although she didn’t think she would win be­cause her poster was not the big­gest, Wil­liams said she is happy to love and sup­port all an­i­mals, both big and small.

“An­i­mals are God’s crea­tures. Even though an­i­mals are big and can be mean, they all mat­ter to me,” she said.

First place win­ners were Michael Amao of Vansville El­e­men­tary, Madi­son Evans of Ke­nil­worth El­e­men­tary, Janiyah Lee of Panorama El­e­men­tary, Vis­hant Bha­gat of White­hall El­e­men­tary, Omorose Emwanta of Mount Cal­vary Catholic School and Ex­cel­lence Chris­tian School stu­dents Noah Smith and Sophia Mont­gomery.

Sec­ond place win­ners were Ali Ma­jid of Al-Huda School, David Priester of Gladys Noon Spell­man El­e­men­tary, Car­los Lee of Ex­cel­lence Chris­tian School, Gabriela Chi­cas Romero of Lewis­dale El­e­men­tary, Ryan Sa­muel from St. Mary’s of Pis­cat­away School and St. Pius X Re­gional School stu­dents Joseph Har­ri­sion IV and Casey McGee.

Third place win­ners were New Chapel Chris­tian Academy stu­dent Erin Th­weatt, St. John the Evan­ge­list stu­dent Stephanie Gar­cia, John Bayne El­e­men­tary stu­dent King Lock­ley, Brandy­wine El­e­men­tary stu­dent Myris C. Rochez, St. Pius X Re­gional School stu­dent Made­lyn Cipolla and Vansville El­e­men­tary stu­dents Ariela Okonta and Gabriella Pa­trick.

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES

St. Mary’s School of Pis­cat­away fourth grade stu­dent Trin­ity Wil­liams is con­grat­u­lated by her teacher, Natalie Cook, af­ter Wil­liams took home the grand prize for the 23rd an­nual “Be Kind to An­i­mals” poster con­test dur­ing an awards cer­e­mony on May 12 at the Prince Ge­orge’s County Depart­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment An­i­mal Ser­vices Fa­cil­ity in Up­per Marl­boro. Wil­liams’ poster was cho­sen for the $100 grand prize out of about 2,200 en­tries. From left of Wil­liams is Deputy Direc­tor Joseph Gill and An­i­mal Man­age­ment Di­vi­sion As­so­ciate Direc­tor Chief Rod­ney Tay­lor.

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