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Newport kindergartner wins in statewide art and storytelling contest

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NEWPORT — A young student from Newport identified only as Hazel, has been recognized for her creative talents in the 2024 Growing Works of Art contest, organizers announced on Friday.

Hazel, a kindergarten student, clinched the top spot for her grade with her entry titled “B is for Branches,” which featured an artistic representation of tree branches, symbolizing her family and friends.

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Hazel wrote: “The branches of a tree remind me of my family and friends and all those that care about me. My tree is big because I have a new family and an original family. Because I have so many people that love me, my tree is very big and has lots and lots of branches. B is also for ball and backpack. Sometimes when I come home from school, I put away my backpack and play with my ball under my tree.”

Her work, along with the winning entries from other grades, will be featured on “Across the Fence,” a program on WCAX-TV, on May 6.

This year’s contest theme, “ABC’s of Trees,” encouraged students from kindergarten through seventh grade to choose a letter of the alphabet and a corresponding tree-themed word to depict both in art and a story. The competition drew 232 entries from 22 schools and five home school families across the state, highlighting the enthusiastic participation and integration of the contest into various school curricula.

The winners of each grade were awarded a Vermont State Park punch pass, and their work can also be viewed online. Organized by the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program, the program aims to foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of forestry through artistic expression, aligning with educational goals in English, art, and science.

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