Fire Prevention Poster Contest Winners Announced
CORRECTION (Monday, January 10, 2022): This story has been updated to correctly reflect the location where all local entries of the 2021 Connecticut Fire Prevention Poster Recognition Program can be viewed.
* * * * *
Two local students saw their illustrations selected as winners of the 2021 Connecticut Fire Prevention Poster Recognition Program.
Kenneth Miller, a fifth grade student at Reed Intermediate School, and Thomas Washington, a fourth grade student at Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, were formally named on December 30 when they visited the Office of the Fire Marshal at Newtown Municipal Center.
Deputy Fire Marshal Jamilynn Zapata welcomed Kenneth and Thomas, and their mothers, to the municipal center that morning. She presented the boys with their prizes: gift certificates from The Toy Tree and the promise of a ride to school in a fire truck for each.
The theme of the poster program is “Fire Prevention — Every One/Every Day.” The program’s goal is to make school children and their families aware that preventing fires requires everyone being alert every day to acts, omissions, and dangers that can cause fires.
The program is open to all public, private, and parochial children in grades 4 and 5.
Kenneth’s poster shows a man in the center of the poster, considering fire safety, leading with the man thinking “Don’t be scared. Be prepared.” In each of the four corners of his poster, Kenneth illustrated elements of fire safety: Don’t Smoke, Replace Batteries (in smoke detectors), Know 2 Ways Out, and Have A Meet Up Spot.
Thomas’s entry depicts a woodland scene with an unattended campfire burning outside a cabin. The fire has spread to a few areas on nearby ground as well as on branches of two trees near the house.
A rabbit near the campfire is thinking “help!” and a black bear hiding behind an outhouse is thinking “We should do something about this!”
Both posters, per the contest criteria, include the program theme within their design.
It was a great year in Newtown for the contest, according to Zapata, who said she received at least one entry from every school in town, including St Rose School and one homeschooled student.
“We had full participation for the first time in years,” she said.
The competition received 42 entries, including the two top picks. All posters will be displayed at Newtown Community Center January 10-16.
Zapata offered her thanks to the town’s fire companies, Big Y World Class Market, and Newtown Community Center, who all offered support during the latest round of competition.
The annual poster recognition program attracts entries from thousands of students across the state, according to materials from organizers. Local winners advance to county and then state level competition.
The statewide winning poster each year is reproduced and distributed as Connecticut’s Fire Prevention Poster. The state winner will be announced in March, during a luncheon for all county winners. The 2021 state winner was Chase Kopcza from Vernon.
Associate Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.