Art, poetry contest inspires student goals

(L-r) St. Clare’s students Steven DeMartis, Anthony Chiariello, Deanna Giraldi, Valerie Amarosa and Vanessa Battista with DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd at the DEP Water Conservation Art and Poetry Contest’s awards ceremony on May 8. Not pictured, St. Clare’s students Madeline Bonsignore and Carlande Nicols, who also had entries submitted into the contest.

More than 350 fourth, fifth and sixth grade students from public, parochial and independent schools throughout New York City recently participated in the 22nd Annual Department of Environmental Protection Water Conservation Art and Poetry Contest.

The youngsters used their knowledge of various water issues to create unique and motivational pieces of individualized art and poetry, with the goal to inspire conservational change in their peers.

According to Janice Desmond, principal of St. Clare’s, the project was a real wake up call for many of the students who’d begun to take their water supply for granted.

“It makes them more conscientious that we have to conserve water here and all around the world,” she said.

While involvement varied from school to school, Desmond said St. Clare’s gave the students opportunity for participation. From the entrants, one poetry and one art project from each grade was submitted to the citywide competition.

Judged on their originality, craftsmanship and creativity of incorporating the topics of the NYC water supply system, water conservation, water quality and wastewater treatment, reviewers from the City’s environmental education community selected the top entries from each borough.

Anne Canty, deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs, recognized the students for their achievements at a ceremony, on May 8, at Cooper Union’s Great Hall in Manhattan.

Of those awarded, fifth grade student Enzi Nuriddin, from Immaculate Conception, at 760 E. Gun Hill Road, was one of those who represented the Bronx with her win for her poem appropriately titled, “The Water.”

A portion of the entry read: …I saw everything you did/You are playful like a kid/I felt you coming down on me/I heard you falling on the tree/Oh water, falling all day long/like a song…

Wilton School P.S. 30’s fifth grade student Mabel Santana also won for her unique water conservation poster.

Desmond said throughout the preparation it was refreshing to see the students’ increased interest in the topic, especially since it’s their motions today that will continue to shape tomorrow’s environment.

“Energy conservation and water conservation is very important for the future of our children,” Desmond said.

In total, 13 entries created by 15 students received awards.

Desmond said as long as the DEP continues to run the contest, she’ll urge St. Clare’s students to participate.

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