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Children's Contest Posters Celebrate Pollinators



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Children who submitted posters honoring pollinators as part of the second annual Pollinator Poster Challenge were celebrated on the morning of Tuesday, June 20, at C.H. Booth Library.

For the month of June, 19 posters depicting pollinators such as bees, bats, butterflies, and flies, have hung in the hallway outside of the library meeting room.

The poster challenge was organized by Protect Our Pollinators (POP), an organization based in Newtown whose goal is to protect pollinator species through education.

"We think that children's artwork is a great way to get the message across," said Mary Gaudet-Wilson of POP. "The message is to protect our pollinators."

Ms Gaudet-Wilson said that POP asked for poster submissions by distributing information about the challenge throughout the Newtown school district in April. This year, the group received about double the number of submissions as last year.

First Selectman Pat Llodra was on hand June 20 to read a town proclamation that named the week of June 19- 25 as "Pollinator Week" in Newtown, which coincided with National Pollinator Week as declared by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of the Interior.

"Connecticut lost 57 percent of its honeybee population in 2015," Mrs. Llodra said.

POP member Holly Kocet was dressed as what she called "Polly the Pollinator" in a honeybee costume, complete with antennae.

Ms Kocet read a poem she had written called "Love a Bee."

"We work very hard, and not to be rude, but without us there would be no food," the poem read.

The seven students in attendance were called up one by one to explain their posters to the group of children and parents in attendance. Ms Gaudet-Wilson and Ms Kocet handed each student a gift bag as a reward.

Sadie Baimel drew a poster titled "Feelings of a Butterfly." She said she was inspired by a similar poster about the feelings of Star Wars character Darth Vader.

In the poster, four identical butterflies are labeled by the emotions confused, angry, sad, and bored. A fifth butterfly was drawn with rainbow stripes to represent the emotion "happy."

"They would be a lot happier if we used nature-friendly pesticides because they would have a lot more friends," Sadie said.

Seated beneath entries for the second annual Pollinator Poster Challenge at C.H. Booth Library are, from left, Isabella Bes, Emilee Ferguson, Kenneth Miller, Eren Weiss, First Selectman Pat Llodra, Annabelle Foley, Sadie Baimel, and Charlotte Foley. Mrs Llodra greeted the contest participants and read the Newtown Pollinator Week proclamation. (Bee Photo, Preszler)
Twelve of the 19 entries received for this year's Pollinator Poster Challenge, which were displayed at the library in June. (Bee Photo, Preszler)
Polly the Pollinator (POP member aka Holly Kocet) sits beneath some of the art work created for the Pollinator Poster Challenge during the June 20 celebration. (Bee Photo, Preszler)
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