July 29, 2014

Medina
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Arbor Day thrives with essays

Ella Canavan Elementary Principal Brian Condit talks about his winning third-graders, from left, Paris Pasadyn, Clair Kolesar and Sydney Gannon, at the 32nd annual Medina Kiwanis Club Arbor Day luncheon Thursday at Williams on the Lake. (DAN POMPILI / GAZETTE)

Ella Canavan Elementary Principal Brian Condit talks about his winning third-graders, from left, Paris Pasadyn, Clair Kolesar and Sydney Gannon, at the 32nd annual Medina Kiwanis Club Arbor Day luncheon Thursday at Williams on the Lake. (DAN POMPILI / GAZETTE)

MEDINA — Medina Schools third-graders carried on the city’s Arbor Day tradition Thursday at Williams on the Lake.

The 32nd annual Medina Kiwanis Club Arbor Day luncheon brought students from the eight elementary schools in the city to share their Arbor Day school projects with city officials, Kiwanis Club members and community leaders.

Mayor Dennis Hanwell declared Thursday Arbor Day in Medina because of the luncheon. National Arbor Day is always the last Friday in April — April 25 this year.

Every year, Medina third-graders receive tree seedlings from the Kiwanis Club to plant in their yards to help keep Medina green and to learn about the value of trees in the environment.

The 500-plus third-graders wrote essays that show their understanding of how this year’s tree — an eastern white pine — is special and how they plan to care for it.

The winners from each school — 23 in all — were selected to share their essays at the luncheon.

“Eastern White Pine Tree, I’m going to take good care of you,” Canavan student Paris Pasadyn wrote. “You are an evergreen tree — Yay! Which means none of your leaves will fall off!”

“I will plant you in a special place and you will grow up to be a hardy and strong tree,” Claire Kolesar, also a Canavan student, wrote.

Kiwanis member Tina Sabol said the program has become a tradition that spans generations. She said her own third-grade tree is still in her parents’ backyard.

Her son, Nathan, and other Medina third-graders received their trees Thursday.

“I know there are lots of people in Medina, or maybe don’t live here anymore, but when they come home to Mom and Dad’s house or drive by where they used to live, they see that old tree and remember it was their third-grade tree,’ she said.

Sabol’s tree also was an eastern white pine, she said.

Her son’s project did not win but some of his friends from Waite Elementary were at the luncheon.

Arbor Day essay winners
• H.G. Blake Elementary (Eldora Lavdas, principal): Sophia Machalec, Courtney Bland and Allie Willson

• Ella Canavan Elementary (Brian Condit, principal): Paris Pasadyn, Claire Kolesar and Sydney Gannon

• Eliza Northrop Elementary (Kimberly Hallock, principal): Nicole Trsek, Alyssa Heers and Damon Ford

• St. Francis Xavier School (Bibiana Seislove, principal): Oliviana Lika and Charlie Snow

• Heritage Elementary (Carol Starrick, principal): Ava Alm, Ella Silvis and Zach Bowser

• Garfield Elementary (Montville police Officer David Pinkas): Lilly Smith, Graham Scott and Autumn Abbott

• Sidney Fenn Elementary (Craig Komar, principal): Audrey Pedro, Rhianna Reddick and Kirsten Luck

• Ralph E. Waite Elementary (Cindy Grice, principal): Dillon Hach, Brock Herman and Adam Melliere.

The winners were escorted by their school principals, except for the students from Garfield, who arrived in the company of school Resource Officer David Pinkas of the Montville Police Department, in place of Principal Karen McGinty.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.