Craig Middle School eighth grader Reilley Gumber, left, Pearl Wyman, center, and Elizabeth Weis, right placed first, second and third in the VFW's Patriot's Pen Essay contest.

Photo by Darian Warden

Craig Middle School eighth grader Reilley Gumber, left, Pearl Wyman, center, and Elizabeth Weis, right placed first, second and third in the VFW's Patriot's Pen Essay contest.

VFW Patriot's Pen Essay contest winners announced

Quotable...

“For government we’re the next generation, we’re the next ones to take on the world.”

Elizabeth Weis, Craig Middle School eighth grader, about why it's important to take an interest in government

Winners of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest were announced Dec. 18 at Craig Middle School.

Open to sixth, seventh and eighth graders, the contest required students write a 300-400 word essay about what they would tell America’s founding fathers.

First place went to eighth grader Reilley Gumber. Gumber won $25 spree bucks to use anywhere in Craig.

Eighth grader Pearl Wyman took second, winning $15 and eighth grader Elizabeth Weis placed third, winning $10.

Numerous honorable mentions were named, earning $5 each.

Gumber, who said she didn’t expect to win, said she wrote about how different times were now compared to the founding fathers day in her essay.

“Our history is important,” Gumber said.

Students worked on their essays for about a month in teacher Patricia McGee’s class.

Third place winner Weis said it was important for people her age to be interested in government because they are the future.

“For government we’re the next generation, we’re the next ones to take on the world,” Weis said. “We have to know about the government to know how to deal with it. And we really appreciate the people who have fought for us to be where we are.”

McGee said she had her class participate in the contest for the same reason Weis said.

“I had them participate to show them how important government can be in their lives and take pride in what the founding fathers did for us,” McGee said. “I’m extremely proud of them. They all put in so much effort and hard work.”

Gumber’s essay will go on to the national competition where she will have the opportunity to win scholarship money for college.

VFW Commander Guy Bradshaw addressed students before naming the winners, saying the contest was what they made of it.

Bradshaw said the more participation they had the bigger it could grow. He told students it was up to them to pave the way for younger generations to participate.

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