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Posted on Sun. Jan. 13, 2013 - 12:01 am EDT

Kids display talent, magic moments in PTA contest

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FORT WAYNE — Evelyn Chambers asked her daughter, 5-year-old Marley, what her magical moment was, and Marley said it was the time when she started riding a bike with only two wheels.

The picture Marley drew of her dad helping her ride without training wheels is on display at the History Center along with about 70 other entries in the 2012-13 Fort Wayne Parent Teacher Association Area Council Reflections Program and Citizenship Essay Contest.

This year’s theme is “The Magic of a Moment.”

Marley, a student at Harrison Hill Elementary, showed off her picture to family members Saturday after enjoying the exhibits at the History Center. Free admission to the center was available for families who came to view the showcase.

The showcase’s entries – mostly in the visual arts, literature and photography categories – came from students in preschool to 12th grade from 12 different schools in Fort Wayne Community Schools.

School winners of the Citizenship Essay contest were also on display. The essay contest is open to students in grades 4-12. This year’s theme is “How We Can Help People.” Each year, students submit ideas for themes. The theme was suggested by Harris Elementary student Destanie Wilson.

Kathie Green, president of the Fort Wayne Area PTA Council, said the number of entries has increased this year as well as the number of schools participating.

“I’m really excited this year that the number of entries has gone up,” Green said. “And the amount of creativity is just outstanding.”

Croninger Elementary second-grader Malaya Godwin brought her three siblings, parents, aunt, cousins and grandma to see her collage of sunset photos. She said she took a couple of pictures each night to re-create one big sunset.

Malaya said she loves looking at sunsets and was inspired by them to create the project.

Stacy and Jeffrey Rodriguez accompanied daughter Isabell, a second-grade student at Harrison Hill Elementary, to the showcase on Saturday to see Isabell’s and others’ entries.

“We’re extremely proud and excited,” Stacey said. “We’re always happy to support (Isabell).”

Isabell said she took a photo of her pit bull Rico enjoying the sun on his face and the breeze as her entry.

Green said projects will be entered into a statewide contest, with winners notified in March. She said the region is usually represented well. Last year, one entrant went on to win a national award.

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