[r85] Pond Report: Fourth Graders: What does Indiana mean to you? (9/26/2012)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Start Date: 9/26/2012 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 9/26/2012 End Time: 11:59 PM
On Dec. 11, 1816, Indiana was admitted as the 19th state to join the union, making this year our state’s 196th birthday. Knowing Indiana’s history is important for a multitude of reasons because it allows us to truly understand the significance of our rich past and appreciate the cultural heritage we possess as Hoosiers.

Indiana has been home to several notable events throughout the years. The first professional baseball game was played in Ft. Wayne in 1871. Ft. Wayne was also the home of the world’s first practical gasoline pump. The first long-distance automobile race in the U.S. was held in Indianapolis in 1911, and our state boasts more miles of interstate highway per square mile than any other state, establishing the motto “Crossroads of America.”

But my list of interesting Indiana facts is not the best way to become acquainted with our great state. Doing research on your own can be a rewarding way to teach yourself and your children more about how Indiana got to where it is today. A great opportunity to educate our youth on the importance of our past is the Fourth Grade Student Essay Competition.

All Hoosier fourth graders are invited to write an entry for the "What Indiana Means to Me" essay contest 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 this competition to commemorate Indiana Statehood Day and encourage more youth involvement.

Indiana Statehood day at the Statehouse is an excellent opportunity for students to gain knowledge about their state’s interesting and 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 December 11 ceremonies at the Statehouse. 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. Activities this year will also include guest speakers from all three branches of government as well as many activities designed just for fourth graders.

State Rep. Phyllis Pond (R-New Haven) represents portions of Allen and DeKalb counties.

Pond Report 9.24.docx