Bush Elementary students winners in national contest

Karly Holland scoops soil into a canister while classmates (From left) Mackenzie Slizewski, Hayzlee Thompson, CJ Mullins and Cameron Ruecker watch during a lesson on how to make healthy soil for growing plants.

Karly Holland scoops soil into a canister while classmates (From left) Mackenzie Slizewski, Hayzlee Thompson, CJ Mullins and Cameron Ruecker watch during a lesson on how to make healthy soil for growing plants.

Every month, the Fulton Garden Club meets with Bush Elementary elementary students as part of the BAC-PAC after-school care program.

Master gardener Linda Houston had special news for several of her students Thursday afternoon: Joseph Winterbower, Lexi Acruri, Gwen Austin and Hayley Rothermich were winners for the National Federated Garden Clubs of America’s 2012 poster and poetry contests.

Winterbower, a fourth grader, took first place in the state for his poster of Smokey the Bear.

Winterbower said he entered the contest because Smokey “is a pretty important guy for gardening stuff, and we talk about him and what he does.”

“I like to do gardening because my grandma likes it a whole bunch,” Winterbower said of his interest in the monthly presentations from the gardening group — such as Thursday afternoon’s program on healthy soil by visiting author S. Michelle Higgins.

Classmate Lexi Acruri’s poem took first place in the state, and second place regionally for third graders. She said she decided to write about her favorite animal — snakes.

“I love snakes — they’re really fast, I read about them, they’re really awesome,” Acruri said.

Austin, a first grader, won the state and central region and took second place nationally for her poem about sea horses.

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