[R76] Rep. McNamara: Fourth Graders: What does Indiana mean to you? (10/2/2012)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Start Date: 10/2/2012 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 10/2/2012
Fourth Graders: What does Indiana mean to you?

As the 19th state to join the union on Dec. 11, 1816, Indiana has a long, storied history that unites us all as present day Hoosiers. Understanding our state’s history is important to truly appreciate the sacrifices that were made to make Indiana what it is today. By knowing where we came from, we can help get to where we want to be as a person, family, community, city or state.

Indiana has put forth tremendous resources to be labeled as the “Crossroads of America”. Our state’s great location serves as a connection point for residents, travelers and commerce across the U.S. But that isn’t all we are known for. The nation’s first long distance race, the Indianapolis 500, was held in Indianapolis in 1911. Fort Wayne hosted the first professional baseball game in 1871, and Evansville was the largest inland producer of LSTs (Tank Landing Ships) during WWII.

The Hoosier heritage runs deep in all of us, but my list of Indiana fun facts is not the best way to become acquainted with our great state. It can be a rewarding experience to do some research on our state and teach your children about Indiana. A great opportunity to educate our youth on the importance of our past is the Fourth Grade Student Essay Competition.

All across the state, Hoosier fourth graders will be writing about "What Indiana Means to Me" with winning applicants being honored at the Indiana Statehouse on December 11. The Indiana Statehouse Tour Office and the Indiana Center for the Book are hosting the competition to commemorate Indiana Statehood Day and to learn from fourth graders what it means to be a Hoosier.

Indiana Statehood Day at the Statehouse is an excellent opportunity for students to gain knowledge about their state’s richly diverse history. During this celebration, there will be fun state-related activities complete with souvenir stamp books for each student.

Here is what you need to know if your student(s) would like to compete:
  • The competition is open to any public, private or homeschooled fourth grader.
  • Essays must range from 100 to 400 words, handwritten or typed.
  • Essays must include the student's name, teacher's name and the school's name, address and telephone number or email address. Without this information the essay will be deemed ineligible.
  • Essays should be reflective and convey what living in the state of Indiana means. What makes the student happy to be a Hoosier?
  • Essays must be received or postmarked by Monday, October 29, 2012. Mailed essays should be sent to:
Indiana Center for the Book
315 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
  • A panel of judges will choose first, second, third and fourth place winners.
The winners, along with their class, will be invited to read his or her essay at one of four concurring ceremonies at the Statehouse on December 11. For teachers who would like to make a reservation for their students to participate in the Statehouse activities, please call 317-233-5293 or email jhodge@idoa.in.gov. I am looking forward to hearing from our fourth graders and what they think it means to be a Hoosier!


Guest column is published in the Posey County News.