Our Statehood Day Essay Winner


Kamryn Bridges has a big appointment Friday.

The fourth-grade student at Burris Elementary School wrote the top essay in the 2010 Statehood Day essay contest.

She was chosen as the first-place winner from more than 2,800 entrants from across Indiana, state Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, announced today.

Steele said Bridges, from Mitchell, will read her essay to the hundreds expected to gather for Friday’s Statehood Day celebration.

“Kamryn’s essay is very well-written, making it easy to see she’s a young expert in Indiana history,” Steele said. “It’s inspiring to know fourth-graders in my area and around the state are delving into events of the past and using what they’ve learned to continue Hoosier traditions. Students like Kamryn give Indiana a promising future.”

Bridges will participate in Friday’s Statehood Day festivities, set to include student visits to executive, judicial and legislative offices as well as a program with opening remarks from government officials, special music, displays of original copies of Indiana’s 1816 and 1851 constitutions and the reading of her winning essay.

“I don’t think of Indiana as my state,” Bridges wrote. “I think of it as my home. Indiana, to me, is about its history, memories and traditions. I love to think that someone as famous as Abe Lincoln has walked on the same Indiana land that I have.”

The essay concludes: My mother always tells me some people may leave for a while, but their hearts always find their way home to Indiana.”

Steele said other fourth-graders recognized in the contest include second-place Catherine Figg of Fishers; third-place Dilanya Moonsinghe of Kokomo; and honorable mention students Sophie Adams of Carmel, Matthias Benko of Indianapolis and Jack Poynter of Greenwood.

According to state officials, the winner and runner-up, along with their families and classes, are invited to attend the Statehood Day ceremony. Other schools have already filled program attendance to capacity.

Indiana became this nation’s 19th state on Dec. 11, 1816.Sponsored by the Indiana Statehouse Tour Office and Indiana State Library, the Statehood Day essay contest for fourth-graders is held annually in October and November.More information can be found at www.in.gov/library/statehood.htm.

Copyright: TMNews.com 2010

We are very proud of Kamryn and feel the same about our state.  The following is her winning essay.

What Indiana Means to Me

            I don’t think of Indiana as my state.  I think of it as my home.  Indiana, to me, is about its history, memories, and traditions.  I love to think that someone as famous as Abe Lincoln has walked on the same Indiana land that I have.

            I like to think that we all are a part of Indiana’s history.  History doesn’t always mean famous people.  History can lie in the land and the people who lived on it.  My great-grandfathers who worked on the abandoned railroad tracks and the old limestone quarries were part of history.  The old homesteads where you can find old limestone foundations, fallen barns, old road beds, and barb wire fences are all part of history.

            All of my favorite memories are in Indiana.  Fall is my favorite season.  Fall in Indiana means the smell of my gram’s persimmon pudding baking in the oven.  It means taking my 89 year old great-grandmother to the Persimmon Festival parade every year and eating Tiger Ears.  Indiana winters are unpredictable, no matter what a persimmon seed or wooly worm tells you.  It is always exciting in Indiana to see if there is going to be school after a snowfall.  I can still feel my hands start to tingle when I stay outside too long sledding with my little sister and cousins.  I can smell the smoke from our outdoor stove as my dad tries to get us warmed up.  As the snow melts and the grass start to appear, I can hear the sounds of the turkeys calling in our backyard and hearing my dad ask if anyone wants to go mushroom hunting.  Indiana summers are so much fun.  What I like best about summer is the feel of the lake water on a hot day or the mud between our toes when we are catching tadpoles in my uncle’s pond.  Indiana is beautiful all year around.

            Indiana has many places to visit like the Children’s Museum, the Indianapolis Zoo, the State Museum, or my favorite, the Colts.  I have been to other states, but I am always ready to go back home, to Indianan.  It is where my family and friends are.  It is where all of my memories are.

            My mother always tells me some people may leave for a while, but their hearts always find their way home to Indiana. 

By Kamryn Bridges

Grade 4

Teacher, Mr. Jerry Fountain

Burris Elementary School, Mitchell, IN

Published in: on December 9, 2010 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment