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Students at St. James in Sewickley place in Elks Lodge essay competition

| Friday, April 6, 2018, 11:00 p.m.

Six students from St. James School were awarded last month for submissions to the Coraopolis Elks Lodge's annual essay contest.

Students Hannah Webre, Philip DuBois, and Michaela Williams were awarded from the sixth grade, and Katie Murray was recognized from the eighth grade.

Additionally, eighth-graders Jacqualine Nicolaus and Matthew Doubt took first and second, respectively, from the district. The students worked under the guidance of St. James teacher Karen Scully and the Rev. Tom Burke, of St. James Catholic Church.

The theme for this year's topic was “Why Our Veterans are American Heroes.”

Burke said he supports the program as a chance to let students grow their kills.

“When Ann Barger first approached me about the idea of having the Elks sponsor an essay contest five years ago with our school children, I supported it,” Burke said. He stressed the importance of the students learning to write and communicate about a certain topic through essays, which is a lifelong skill.

“In this day and age where computers, internet, and social media dominate a kid's life, children still need to know how to write and talk,” Burke said. “By offering this essay contest, they develop good writing skills.”

Barger is chair of the Americanism Committee for Coraopolis Lodge No. 1090 on Stoops Ferry Road in Moon. She also was appointed district chair and will work with volunteers to select winners from the division. Those winning essays will be sent to a statewide competition.

Rebecca L. Ferraro is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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