It isn’t every day one gets to meet their state’s Governor, yet on Wednesday, June 4, four Sant Bani School students traveled to Concord to do just that. What was the occasion? They were being recognized for their award-winning submissions in the New Hampshire Water Pollution Control Association (NHWPCA) poster contest.
Third-graders Iris King, Annie DeBenedictis, and Sadie Gilman, and fourth-grader Jypsy Russell received contest accolades. Iris won First Place in the Grades 1-3 category; Sadie and Annie won Second Place in the same category; and Jypsy received Honorable Mention in Grades 4-6.
The Clean Water Week Poster Contest is held annually with the contest winners being celebrated in late-May or early June shortly before National Clean Water Week. According to the NHWPCA website:
“National Clean Water Week is celebrated every year in June to remind everyone of the importance of protecting our water resources. Members of the NHWPCA dedicate their careers to keeping our waters clean in NH by operating wastewater treatment plants which help to eliminate pollution in our rivers, lakes, and streams. The Poster Contest was established to help spread the word about the need to keep our waters clean and unpolluted.”
Each year, the contest – which is open to all New Hampshire students in grades 1-6 – has a different theme. This year’s theme was “The Journey of a Raindrop.” Students who opted to participate in the contest created their posters in February prior to the March 1 submission deadline. Judges spent the next two months reviewing submissions and ranking them based on originality, the use of the theme, and quality of work.
On May 24, SBS science teacher Jess Boynton received a letter from the NHWPCA informing her of the accolades for Iris, Annie, Sadie, and Jypsy along with an invitation to the organization’s awards ceremony and dinner.
A week later, the students and their parents were gazing at portraits of past New Hampshire governors as they walked through the grandiose corridors of the New Hampshire State House toward the Governor’s Chambers. There, all honorees were greeted by NHWPCA officials before Governor Chris Sununu arrived. After congratulating the group, Governor Sununu took photos with the full group of students as well as each individual. The event concluded with an awards ceremony and dinner at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.