Rep. Bacon: A local connection to Statehood Day

Posted by: Hannah Carlock  | Friday, December 11, 2015 9:00 am

A local connection to Statehood Day

The holiday season along with preparations for the upcoming session make for a busy month. Adding to this eventful time, December also marks Indiana’s birthday, known as Statehood Day.

On Dec. 11, 1816, Indiana became the 19th state to join the Union. Since then we have made our mark on the national scene not only as an agricultural and manufacturing powerhouse, but as the home of two presidents and five vice presidents.

While various cities host their own celebrations, it is only fitting that our annual birthday celebration takes place in our state capital. Each year leading up to Indiana’s birthday, the Statehouse Tour Office partners with the Indiana Center for the Book and the State Library to host an essay competition.

This year, fourth grade students from across the Hoosier state were encouraged to write an essay on how they will celebrate Indiana’s upcoming bicentennial anniversary in 2016. In Indiana, state history is part of the fourth grade curriculum, so this essay contest is an excellent way for students to apply their learning beyond the classroom.

In total, 450 students from over 20 counties entered the contest, and I commend each and every one of them who took advantage of this unique learning opportunity. These creative young Hoosiers submitted a variety of neat ideas including a party with an Indiana-shaped cake adorned with 200 candles. Ultimately, only four winners were selected, and among those was a local student from the Warrick County School Corporation.

Delanie Potts, a fourth grader at Elberfeld Elementary School, was named the third-place winner and proudly represented our community at the historic celebrations in Indianapolis. On Statehood Day, Delanie read her winning essay to Hoosiers who had gathered from across the state at the State Museum.

I am so proud of Delanie and the example she has set for her peers. It takes a great deal of courage not only to submit your work for a statewide essay contest but also to read it in front of a large group, particularly at such a young age. Through this contest, Delanie has shown the rest of the state what I have known for years: southwest Indiana is home to some of our state’s brightest and hardest working students.

As we celebrate this holiday season and look ahead to a new year, I encourage you to reflect on our state’s rich history and those who have come before us, laying the foundation for all that we enjoy as Hoosiers. A new year brings yet another opportunity to build on this proud heritage, so let’s make it a great one.

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Rep. Bacon (R-Chandler) represents portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.