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Rotary Club honors 5th grade essay winners

From left to right: Darla Falcon & Carolyn Davis (4Way Test Committee), First place Evan Mattson & Addison Jones with teacher Mrs. Kahler,; Second Place Sophia Whitten/Mrs. Cairy and Otto Pigorsh/Mr. Moleski; Donna Clark (committee) and Third Place Caleb Christie and Nolan Papke, Mr. Moleski and Mrs. Gallagher.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Rotary handed out awards to students on March 7 in their annual Rotary 4-way test essay contest. They invited fifth grade students from Cedar View and Creative Technologies Academy to participate. All essays were written in 200 words or less. Teachers chose the 2 best essays from their class and submitted them to the committee, which included Darla Falcon, Carolyn Davis, Donana Clark and Bea Hesley.    

Clark and Rotary president Tom Noreen spoke with each of the classes ahead of time, and gave them some background on Rotary. “Tom and I visited all of the 5th grade classes and shared what the 4Way test is, how it started and tried to inspire students with ideas of how to write a story that would be compelling and touch our hearts—something real, something that impacted them that they could relay with feeling,” explained Clark.

The students were then on their own to write the essays. And the students who won had a good grasp of what the committee was looking for. Out of 12 essays, they chose six—two for each place. 

“The essays were phenomenal this year! We had so much trouble narrowing it down to just one 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner that we decided not to,” said Clark. “We were a bit extravagant and allowed ourselves to choose two for each place!”

The first place winners were Evan Mattson and Addison Jones, both of Mrs. Kahler’s class. They each won $35 and a gold medallion of 4Way test.

Second place winners were Otto Pigorsh of Mr. Moleski’s class, and Sophia Whitten, of Mrs. Cairy’s class. They each won $20 and a gold medallion.

Third place winners were Nolan Papke of Mrs. Gallagher’s class, and Caleb Christie, of Mr. Moleski’s class. They each won $10 and a gold medallion.

The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and is a code of ethics each Rotarian aspires to live by both in their business and personal lives. It says: “Of the things we think, say or do: 1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

This is the 10th year that the Rotary has partnered with local schools on this project.

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