Third-graders win bonds, bikes for home essays

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"Home is where memories hang on the wall," Greywolf Elementary School third-grade student Joy Smith told the Sequim Association of Realtors.

Smith was one of more than 30 third-graders from Greywolf and Helen Haller elementary schools who were honored April 14 for their posters and essays on "What My Home Means to Me."

Helen Haller's Sean Weber and Greywolf's Joy Smith were selected as the grand-prize winners from each school. Each received a bicycle and a $100 savings bond from the Sequim Association of Realtors.

First-place winners Jasmine Itti from Helen Haller and Jenaye Smith from Greywolf each received a $75 savings bond and a scooter from the association.

Second-place finishers from Helen Haller were Brinlee Luster, Mariele Luster, Kyle Morton and Elizabeth Sweet. From Greywolf, the second-place finishers were Ty Bourm, Emmanuel Gomez, Rigo Langston and Blake Wiker. The second-place winners from each school received a $50 savings bond and a scooter.

Third-place winners from each school received a $50 savings bond from the association.

The third-place finishers from Helen Haller were Brandon Benson, David Buckley, Arlene Law, Alyssa Lowe-Little, Caitlin Lowry, Kelie Meyer, Sawyer Nute, Madeline Patterson, Gabby Paulson, Veronica Preciado and Jacob Streck.

Third-place finishers from Greywolf were Akira Connory, Elizabeth Ewing, Madison Green, Lina Hwang, Connor Lamb, Cassie McDonald, Heidi O'Leary, Claire Payne, Brittney Rives and Ashley Rosales.

American Home Week

The essay contest is part of American Home Week, which is celebrated each April in communities across the nation. In Sequim, the weeklong observance, sponsored by the

Sequim Association of Realtors, was celebrated April 10-17.

Carrie Millet, chairman of American Home Week for the Sequim Association of Realtors, has been overseeing the contest for 20 years.

"The observance honors the joys, rights and responsibilities of home ownership," Millet said. "The American dream is a home."

The students were asked to create a poster and write an essay titled, "What My Home Means to Me."

Evoking gratitude

The themes of the essays varied, but most students wrote about family and memories that they have inside their homes. Others wrote about how different their lives would be without a home.

"It gives them the opportunity to be grateful for what they have," Millet said.

"Their home may not be perfect, but these kids understand the privilege of having a home and the importance of family, fun and laughter that takes place in the home."

Millet also thanked the third-grade teachers - Helen Haller's Ann Riggs and Andrea Slack and Greywolf's Sheri Burke and Bethanie Robbins were honored as the Realtors' "Best Teacher in School" and received a $25 gift card to The Home Depot.

"The real heroes are the teachers who do a lot of work to make this happen," Millet said. "They instill the concept that a home is not just a house."

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