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For Immediate Release
February 14, 2002
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State Invites 2002 Poster and Essay Winners to Visit State Capital

AUGUSTA--The 2002 winners of the Secretary of State's Constitution Poster and Essay Contest will be the guests of Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky for a special viewing of the original Maine Constitution. Each student will be making the trip to Augusta with his or her class.

Secretary Gwadosky sponsors the annual poster and essay contest to promote Maine history and the importance of democracy and voting among Maine's young people. Over 1200 posters and more than 150 essays from schools all over the state were received at the Secretary of State's Office.

The winners in each of the categories are as follows:

POSTER ESSAY

Maine Symbols - Grades K-3

Miranda Riendeau-Card
Bowdoinham Community School
Date of Visit - February 25, 2002

Maine Constitution - Grades 6-8

Justin Bousfield
Penobscot Christian School
Date of Visit - February 15, 2002

Maine History - Grades 4-5

Erin Bousfield
Penobscot Christian School
Date of Visit - February 15, 2002

Voting and Democracy - Grades 9-12

Alyssa Grotton
Rockland District High School
Date of Visit - TBA

The winners of the contest receive a $100 savings bond and are invited by Secretary Gwadosky to visit the Capital Complex to view the original Maine Constitution that is kept at the Maine State Archives. The visit to the Archives, and the viewing of the Maine Constitution, will occur at 11:15 a.m.

"This year was a first with two winners from not only the same school but also the same family," said Secretary Gwadosky. "The judges and I were all surprised when the names of the winners were revealed."

"The response to this program is always remarkable," stated Secretary Gwadosky. "We receive a number of creative posters and the essays show that the students have thought seriously about the issues of voting and democracy."

Invitations to participate in this program were mailed to all Maine schools. Students could participate in one of four categories based upon grade level. Students in Kindergarten through Grade 3 could draw a poster of the official Maine symbols (chickadee, pine tree, state seal, etc.). Grades 4 and 5 were asked to draw a poster pertaining to Maine History. Students in grades 6 to 8 could submit an essay on the Maine Constitution, while grades 9 to 12 were given the topic "the Importance of Voting and Democracy".

The winning posters and essays may be viewed on the Secretary of State's Kids Page website - - http://www.maine.gov/sos/kids/.