Kids ‘fun’ gets them second place

The following article appeared in Clay Today on Feb. 4, 2012

By Christina Leach Phillips

Correspondent

CLAY HILL — When eight students from Clay Hill Elementary dressed up as characters from their favorite books to make a video about literacy for a Florida Department of Education public service announcement (PSA) video contest, they were just having fun, said Kelly Robertson, Media Specialist at the school.

But on Jan. 25, they were invited to the Capitol Building in Tallahassee during “Celebrate Literacy Week,Florida!” to receive their award of second place in the state in the elementary schools division.

Each student received four passes to any Disney Theme Park, and Clay Hill Elementary received a $500 Barnes & Noble gift card, said Robertson.

“We had no idea until we won that prizes were involved. We participated for the fun and challenge of it!” said Robertson.

In addition, their video, along with eight other winning schools’ videos, will be shown on the Florida Knowledge Network, a state educational television network, and Comcast public television stations.

The students from the second to the sixth grade were chosen by their teachers to make the video “Be What You Read!” said Robertson, who sponsored the entry.

In the 26-second video, student Briar Jackson narrates as the other students transform into characters from books they are reading, said Robertson. The other students include Cassidy Creamer, Eryn Evatt, Bryan McNeish, Colton Padgett, Justin Sharp, Ezabelle Stoehr, and Briana Van Tol.

“The students who were chosen were super representatives for their grade levels and their book characters. What creativity and thought went into their costumes! Some of the costumes and books represented the interests of the students. For example, we had a cheerleader and a motor-cross bike rider,” Robertson said.

The contest was open to all Florida elementary, middle, and high schools. There were 90 entries submitted in the elementary division, according to Robertson, and there were three winners in each division.

“I’m very proud of all the students who participated. They were very cooperative and worked toward perfection,” she said.  “It paid off for them. The ’Just ReadFlorida!’ Department was very generous in rewarding the students and our school with fantastic prizes!”

The school’s award will be used to purchase new books for the media center, Robertson said.

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