Haley Flaherty wins Senator Barbara Boxer’s statewide poster contest
TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Walking into the Sierra Expeditionary Learning School (SELS) second/third grade classroom April 18, an excited murmur fills the air. The students are seated in a circle with crew leader Diane Welch at the center.
She holds up a letter of recognition, with United States Senate boldly printed in royal blue at the top. The letter, one for each child by name, was sent by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, telling each student how impressed she was by their artwork celebrating Earth Day, which they entered into her and#8220;Help Save the Earthand#8221; Earth Day poster contest. Her words also encouraged continued environmental stewardship, good work in school and thanked them for participating.
Welch recalled what fun the class had creating contest art and asked what the big celebration was going to be about. Up shot a multitude of hands: Earth Day was the answer.
Welch continued, and#8220;And somebody in this class won first place!and#8221; Small hands clasped in glee, giggles, oohs and aahhs animated the children’s circle as Deputy State Directory Stacey Smith from Sen. Boxer’s office was introduced.
She traveled to Truckee from Sacramento to bestow the honor on second grader Haley Flaherty, who won first place in the contest out of the entire state, 58 counties and thousands of children.
and#8220;It was so hard to choose, there were so many great ideas,and#8221; Smith told the class. and#8220;What really impressed us was the use of recycled materials for your artwork.and#8221;
As Haley stood to meet Smith, the children roundly applauded her accomplishment. Their generous enthusiasm was palpable as Haley received a handshake, a certificate of appreciation, a packet of wildflower seeds and a framed reproduction of her winning poster. The original will hang in Sen. Boxer’s office in the state Capitol.
When the official congratulations were done, the students crowded in a circle around Haley, heads bent close in admiration of her art and certificate.
Haley’s poster advises and#8220;Stop H2O Pollution.and#8221; Her favorite part of the poster was using real rocks to adorn the shoreline, which includes hand drawn crayfish. Haley recycles at home and at SELS.