Caraway tops in contest

Published 1:33 am Wednesday, May 23, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Jessie Caraway, a fifth grade student at Huxford Elementary School, spent quality time with his family while creating a poster for a statewide contest. The time spent with his parents paid off when he got a phone call saying he was one of the Top 12 winners of the 2007 Statewide Family Poster Contest on Parental Involvement.
All of the students at HES who wanted to participate in the contest created a poster. The posters were then separated into grades. A winner was chosen for each grade level. Those winning posters were then sent in to be judged on a countywide level. Caraway won the county's contest and his poster was sent in for the state's judging.
Caraway was shocked when he learned he was one of the top winners statewide. He actually believed that when HES principal Betty Warren called to tell him the good news that he had done something wrong at school.
"I was excited but I didn't think I was ever going to win," he said. "When Ms. Warren called I thought I was going to be in some kind of trouble."
Caraway said his poster consisted of two bears that were reading, bordered by books. He said his parents, William and Sherry Caraway, helped him with the wording on the poster but that he drew everything himself.
"The poster said 'be a beary good reader' and 'my mom said be a very good reader and you will always have success," Caraway said. "I drew everything on the poster and my parents helped me think of the words to say."
Sherry Caraway was thrilled that her son was recognized for his poster and was shocked when Warren called her with the news.
"I was so excited when Ms. Warren called that I just cried," she said. "I called home and said 'Jessie won, I don't know what he won but he's won something!'"
HES parental involvement liaison Carol Middleton said she is proud of Caraway and that she thinks the contest is great for getting families to work together.
"It was good because it was a family project," Middleton said. "So often we have contests and it's usually the child's work and in this case we wanted family input. We're very proud of Jessie."
This was the first time HES entered this contest, which makes Caraway's win even more bittersweet, according to Middleton.
"One thing that's important is that we've never entered this contest before and we have a winner," she said.
Each of the 12 winners will have their posters featured in the 2007-2008 Alabama Parent and Family Involvement Calendar. The calendar will be placed online at in September.

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