25 winners selected in WASDEF holiday essay contest

The Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation recently concluded its annual Holiday Essay Contest, during which students in kindergarten through sixth grade were asked to answer, in 200 words or less: “What’s your favorite holiday memory and why?”

From a pool of 234 entries, the top 25 winners were selected and will receive free ride on The Santa Express on Friday, sponsored by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s winners are:

• Landon Arriaga, fifth grade, Curtin Intermediate

• Maurice Baines, second grade, Jackson Primary

• Jahki Burget, third grade, Stevens Primary

• Lynnae Campbell, second grade, Cochran Primary

• McKay Campbell, kindergarten, Cochran Primary

• Ava Fischer, second grade, Jackson Primary

• Jude Fisher, kindergarten, Stevens Primary

• Ava Girton, third grade, Hepburn-Lycoming Primary

• Elaina Girton, first grade, Hepurn-Lycoming Primary

• Olivia Godfrey, fourth grade, Lycoming Valley Intermediate

• Anyae Grissom, sixth grade Curtin Intermediate

• Lily Hamilton, fourth grade, Curtin Intermediate

• Joel House, third grade, Jackson Primary

• Riley Kinsley, fifth grade, Lycoming Valley Intermediate

• Malachi Kiper, kindergarten, Jackson Primary

• Daeyan Martin, sixth grade, Curtin Intermediate

• Alliyah Miller, second grade, Hepburn-Lycoming Primary

• Abby Packard, third grade, Cochran Primary

• Taylor Rockey, second grade, Jackson Primary

• Maddie Sanders, third grade, Cochran Primary

• Sajzae Smith, sixth grade, Curtin Intermediate

• Keyana Springman, sixth grade, Lycoming Valley Intermediate

• Aniya Thomas, third grade, Stevens Primary

In addition to the train ride, two top essay winners were selected and received a $25 gift card to the Cinema Center, sponsored by the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. These two students were third-grader Lauren Bogle from Hepburn-Lycoming and sixth-grader Kathryn Stea from Lycoming Valley.

This year will mark 150 students who have enjoyed a ride on The Santa Express — for free — as a result of the foundation’s holiday essay contest.

The following are the top two essay winners for the contest:

By Lauren Bogle

Third Grade


Primary School

So every year my family goes to get Chinese for after church and Candy Cane Lane (because of Christmas Eve), and we get lots of food. I ask why and then I remembered we’re giving food to the homeless! I was excited because I was giving not getting! We got lots of candy canes, so we started giving them some. I was happy!

I want to do this every year, but I know that other people want to do it, too. So I shouldn’t take it all. So that’s my favorite Christmas tradition. I love this tradition because I am being nice and giving food to people that can’t afford to get food for Christmas.

Have you ever given food to the homeless?

By Kathryn Stea

Sixth Grade

Lycoming Valley

Intermediate School

My favorite holiday memory is the Christmas I got my cat, Chevy. I remember walking downstairs and hearing a squeak of what sounded like … a kitten?

“Of course not,” I thought to myself. “Probably some ridiculous song my mom’s playing.”

When I got downstairs, my mom, dad and grandparents were there. My brother, of course, always sleeps in on Christmas, leaving everyone waiting and waiting to open their gifts. I thought it was strange that my grandparents were there, since they usually come later in the day.

“Pap has a present he wants you to open now,” my mom says.

“What about Sam?” I ask.

“You snooze, you lose,” said dad.

I shrugged and walked over to the large box that my grandma was pointing to. Why was everyone being so mysterious? I open the box and see two green eyes looking up at me.

A cat!

It was a small kitten with gray tabby stripes. I was excited! Then my grandparents launched into the story of how they found the kitten in their Chevy truck. That is how we got the name Chevy.

We still have Chevy today, and he is the best cat in the world. This was my favorite Christmas memory.

The WASD Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the educational experience for students by funding programs, projects and initiatives. For more information on the Foundation, or to learn how to make a gift, visit www.wasd.org/foundation.