With strong writing and a love of nature, two local students made waves in the 2015 Coast Day 5th Grade Essay Contest.
Local winners were Emma White (first place) of Southern Delaware School of the Arts and Zoe Tuttle (honorable mention) of Lord Baltimore Elementary School.
“The 5th Grade Essay Contest is designed to spark students’ interest in marine environments while teaching them how to research a topic and use that information to write an essay in their own words,” according to the University of Delaware Coast Day website.
This year, students described how they discover the land, air and water around Delaware. Then they researched how they and other Delawareans can protect Mother Nature.
“Sometimes when we are on the beach, we find where people have left behind their trash, which really makes me upset,” White wrote. “This could really harm these little crabs and other animals that live near the water.”
White described her love of catching sand crabs and blue crabs: “We all have to take part in conserving the beach and our other natural resources! We want others to be able to enjoy finding sand crabs on the beach and waiting for that next crab on a string just as much as I do!”
Students had a quick turnaround on this essay, with a Sept. 18 deadline.
“I had a little bit of research,” White said. “I honestly didn’t think I would win it.”
Cape Henlopen and Indian River school districts produced all six essay winners, although any Delaware fifth-grader is eligible.
“I like writing. It makes me express myself in a way that’s fun for me,” Tuttle said. “To be top-six, that’s pretty cool for me.”
Tuttle described her family’s adventures on the Indian River Bay. “We love seafood, but it can be very expensive. So we catch our own! We like to explore and discover the bay, which is an amazing environment.”
She also wrote about about racing snails with her brother: “I discovered the snails stay on the sand bars because they get wet but aren't fully under the water. People like to go on the sandbars for the same reason. We want to get wet, but not fully in the water.”
Although Coast Day was canceled this October for inclement weather, the winners will be invited to an award ceremony and robotics laboratory tour at University of Delaware’s Lewes campus in November.
The top three winning essayists will receive bookstore gift cards, while all receive their essays mounted and other prizes.
All winning essays can be read
online at www.decoastday.udel.edu/