Monday, January 17, 2022

Students Win Camp Scholarships

From left: Fourth grade students Sara Geddis, Ella Riley and Kayleigh Kemmish with their winning entries. Submitted Photo

From left: Fourth grade students Sara Geddis, Ella Riley and Kayleigh Kemmish with their winning entries. Submitted Photo

Three talented Tommie Barfield Elementary School (TBE) fourth grade students have been awarded one-week camp scholarships to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida summer program.

The ceremony awarding the scholarships took place at the school, and was broadcast to all of the classrooms by TBE fifth graders learning media skills.

The winning students competed in the annual challenge by the Friends of Tigertail, submitting an essay describing an environmental topic related to Southwest Florida, and explaining why they would make good candidates to attend the camp.

Judged by the Friends of Tigertail board, who were impressed by the quality of the work, the three winning submissions were outstanding and unique.

Sara Geddis created a poem, named “Joe’s Adventure,” describing a manatee trying to find a new, safer home in the Everglades, complete with a drawing of Joe.

Ella Riley submitted a five scene play entitled “The Rescue,” in which Julia, age 11 and Sam, age 12 discover a turtle washed up on the beach suffering with a plastic bag around it’s neck. The children help in the rescue and follow the turtle to the wildlife hospital, where doctors treated the animal successfully. A week later, after naming their rescue “Super Turtle,” Julia and Sam were elated to help with the release of the animal back to the Gulf.

Kayleigh Kemmish wrote an essay describing experiences that created her love, passion, and dedication for marine life.

The winners will enjoy the Conservancy camp July 23-27, where the topic for the week will be “Marsh Mania.” They will be able to explore marine life through games, crafts, and field trips.

How do the winners plan to use the camp experience? Sara hopes to become a wildlife photographer, and is anxious to learn more about animals in their natural habitat. Ella is excited to learn more about area wildlife, a topic of great interest to her. Kayleigh’s goal is to be an engineer designing ways to preserve and protect the marine environment.

The Friends of Tigertail, a group committed to the preservation of the beach and surrounding environment through education and service, has provided two camp scholarships for eight years. For the last two years, board member Mary Ann Maniace has donated a third scholarship in memory of her deceased father, Anthony Pampalona, honoring his special love for children.

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