Washington Middle School Students Participate in Chautauqua County Fishing Essay Contest

Eighteen Washington Middle School sixth graders recently received awards from Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan for writing essays for the 22nd Annual Sports Fishery Advisory Board Essay Contest. Seven students, Ryan DeLong, Jorden Ecker, Anthony Melendez-Cortez, Ajiah Muoio, Abigail Osborne, Nolan Scoma and Hailey Tolbert, won fishing poles as grade level winners all from Lisa Peterson’s class, with assistance from reading specialist, Jennifer Cronin.

“I think the annual Sports Fishery Advisory Board Essay Contest is a great program which encourages not only a fun learning experience, but also an understanding of the importance fishing and our waterways have in Chautauqua County,” said Mr. Horrigan.  “I was very happy with the participation in this year’s contest, and very much enjoyed reading everyone’s stories about who they would take fishing in Chautauqua County. The contest is also a great opportunity to visit our schools, and meet the students who are the bright future of our county.”

The sixth graders, all from Lisa Peterson’s class, wrote the essays on the theme, “Fishing Sounds Like Fun, Who Would I Like to Take Fishing with Me and Why?” Students practiced Step-Up-To-Writing procedures and brainstormed ideas about what they knew about Chautauqua County and fishing using module protocol. Students used an organizer to put their individual thoughts into a sequence to help clearly express their ideas in a coherent essay. Students wrote a rough draft, partnered with fellow students for ideas to improve their essays, and wrote their final copies.

“I have been entering my students into the contest for many years as it gives them a perfect opportunity to practice writing strategies learned in class while talking about one of the benefits of living in Chautauqua County,” said Mrs. Peterson. “In addition, knowing that they might win something for writing an essay is an incentive for them. They were also excited to have the County Executive come to our classroom, as many of them had no idea that we had one before we wrote the essays. I’d like to thank the County Executive and the Chautauqua County Fishing Advisory Board for their continuing support of education.”

This year, the contest had 479 essays submitted from 13 different schools.  Forty-two fishing pole winners were selected, including two grand prize fishing trip winners.

posted on 05/30/2014 - filed under: Academics, Community, Middle School, Spotlight, Students, teachers