Four Point Borough children just got picked as poster winners, the first place winner will see her design on a T-shirt, and that's just the warm-up to a day of fun and learning on Earth Day on April 21 at Riverfront Park.
Emma Melito, in Diane McHugh's fourth grade class at Nellie F. Bennett Elementary School, won the first place award, a $100 savings bond, in the annual Earth Day poster contest.
That means Special T Graphics, 3105 Bridge Ave., Point Borough, will re-create her unique design on a T-shirt.
It's all part of the Point Borough Environmental Commission's Earth Day poster contest, T-shirt creation and plans for Earth Day at Riverfront Park on River Road.
Commission members judged the posters on Wednesday night at the T-shirt shop.
The criteria included selecting a design that was not only looks good, but also conveys the message behind the theme and is also simple enough to show up well on a shirt.
Emma's design, titled "Just Say No to Letting Them Grow," warns against letting water stand, lest it breed mosquitoes, and has a drawing of a mosquito with a line through it, with a message written around that (see featured photo).
That's in keeping with this year's Earth Day theme, "Strive to Be Mosquito Free."
The second place winner is Daniel Canales, in Stephanie Dolan's fifth grade class at Ocean Road, receiving a $75 savings bond.
The third place winner is Ellie Hulit in Petrice Nicoles' fifth grade class at Nellie Bennett, receiving a $50 savings bond.
The fourth place winner, receiving Honorable Mention, is Nicole Buschio in Alicia Driber's fifth grade class at Nellie Bennett, receiving a $25 gift certificate for a store.
Winners have already been notified through the schools, but their names will be announced at Earth Day and then they will receive their prizes.
Burke is giving the commission a discount on the shirts. For many years, she was a commission member and had done them for free.
The judges were: Commission Chairman Chris Constantino; Kim Constantino, his wife; Michael Kern, commission vice chair; Doreen Romanowski, wife of commission member Mike Romanowski; Tony Lombardino and Noel Schulz. They had a difficult time picking winners from among the outstanding submissions from 267 students at both elementary schools.
But keeping the theme in mind guided them through the process.
"The theme for this year's 4th and 5th Grade T-shirt poster contest is 'Strive to be Mosquito Free,' concentrating on what to do at home to safely control mosquitoes," said Chris Constantino.
"The focal point for this year's Earth Day theme is to teach the uses of alternative methods for mosquito control and to stress that 'Mosquito Control Starts at Home,' " he said.
"Using biological products, along with natural predators and source reduction to reduce mosquito populations in your neighborhood, instead of the use of traditional pesticides, is more environmentally friendly and equally as effective when considering the harm those traditional pesticides can have on the plants and animals."
Constantino added that he and other Environmental Commission members used the anti-mosquito theme to develop a lesson plan for the fourth and fifth grade classes of Ocean Road and Nellie Bennett.
"The basis of their poster design contest was what the children learned in the lesson plans at school," he said.
As for the T-shirts, about 100 to 125 shirts, with Emma's winning design, will be created for fourth and fifth graders.
The class that wears their shirt the most on Earth Day will win a $150 lunch at Bubbakoo's Burritos on Bridge Avenue, Point Borough, Kern said. All students attending and wearing the shirt should register with commission members on Earth Day to let them know their class.
Winners were judged on Wednesday night at the T-shirt shop. Business Owner Sheryl Burke is giving the commission a discount on the 100 to 125 white shirts she will be producing with the winning design. For many years, she led the commission and had done the shirts for free.
Earth Day will be held from noon to 4 p.m. April 21 (raindate is April 22). This is the 9th Earth Day Celebration hosted by the Borough's Environmental Commission.
The event showcases vendors of green products/ideas, environmental organizations and local businesses. There will be games and rides for the kids as well as food and music.
The Commission is accepting applications for all exhibitors until April 6th and is always looking for volunteers, sponsors and donations. Exhibitor and sponsor applications are located on the commission web site.
All proceeds fund the annual scholarship awarded to a local high school senior, the savings bonds and prizes for the winners of the poster contest, and the operations and incidentals of the event.