Annual poster and essay contest winners announced

The two first place Fire Prevention Poster Contest winners, a fourth grade and a fifth grade winner, were announced during the annual Shelton Fire Prevention Contest Awards Ceremony held on Jan. 12 at Shelton Intermediate School. Overall City of Shelton Winners are as follows:

4th Grade - Griffin Marcinczyk of Elizabeth Shelton School

5th Grade - Selin Ho of Perry Hill School

Each of their posters have advanced to a State level contest.

Following opening remarks from Assistant Chief Ted Pisciotta, who congratulated students and thanked parents, teachers, principals, school staff, and firefighters for their efforts, Mayor Mark A. Lauretti, spoke about the benefit of this annual contest and his gratitude for all the many individuals that support this fire safety program. He commented that fire safety education is important to save lives, prevent harm, protect property, and keep everyone safe. Fire Marshal James Tortora and Chief Fran Jones were also congratulated all the winners for a job well done. All first and second place winners from the 4th and 5th grade representing each of Shelton’s public and parochial schools, then received a cash award of $100 and $75, respectively, from Mayor Lauretti. The two, Overall City of Shelton Winners, were each presented a cash award of $125, a certificate, and a metal.

The annual poster contest, launched in 1984, is designed to develop fire safety awareness in youngsters and to encourage them to take the message home to their families. It is jointly sponsored by Connecticut FAIR Plan, representing the insurance industry in this state; the Connecticut Fire marshals Association; Connecticut Board of Education and the Office of State Fire Marshal. The local contest is administered by the Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau. Approximately 900 posters were submitted this year from Booth Hill, Elizabeth Shelton, Long Hill, Mohegan, Perry Hill, St. Joseph, St. Lawrence, and Sunnyside schools. Each student who submitted a poster will receive a Certificate of Appreciation and a pen from the Connecticut Fire Prevention Poster Committee. Judging was held on December 16, 2015 with representatives from the board of alderman as judges. All first place posters will be displayed over the next year at schools, public buildings, and events.

Mayor Lauretti also presented cash awards and certificates to winners of the Sixth Grade Essay/Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest. Classrooms, and each student author, received a cash award of $100, $75, and $50 for first, second, and third place, respectively. The Bureau is thankful for the volunteer essay/PSA judges from the Valley Independent Sentinel and Voice of the Valley Blog. Since the contest began in 1996, its purpose has been to promote fire safety by having students research the topic while writing their PSA. The fire department/fire prevention bureau would like to use the essay to help remind adults and children how important fire prevention is to Everyone/Everyday. This year’s winners are:

1st Place

Ms. Ibsens’s Class, Perry Hill School

Author:  Joe Schiappa

2nd Place

Mr. Federowicz’s Class, Perry Hill School

Author:  Ella Dzujna

3rd Place

Mrs. Coffin’s Class, Perry Hill School

Authors:  Nicole and Natalie Plavec

Students of both the poster and essay contests depicted many of the essential elements of preventing fire from ever occurring and of preparation and planning required to be ready for fire. Chief Pisciotta is hopeful that the messages of posters and essays will be shared with everyone in the community to help further reduce needless damage to property, injury to persons and loss of life that can result from fire. In addition to spreading information about fire safety, Chief Pisciotta also finds the contest helpful to measure the effectiveness educational programs of the fire prevention bureau.  From reviewing the nearly 900 posters and 20 essays it becomes apparent where we have made a great impact and have identified areas where special focus may be needed to improve our educational efforts.