On the surface, Women’s History Month and the childhood classic “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” may not seem to have a whole lot in common.
But, for seventh-grader Justin Hower, the Beverly Cleary work served as the centerpiece of his winning entry into the Business and Professional Women’s Club (BWPC) of the Lehigh Valley’s 14th Annual Women’s History Month Bookmark Contest.
Hower’s contest submission, which included an essay and a drawing about Cleary, took first place in this year’s competition. His work has been made into a bookmark, which was unveiled at a BWPC award program on March 19.
Hower, as well as the second- and third-place winners, presented their winning essays during the program. Rina Hollinger, an Eyer Middle School student, who chose Pearl Buck as her topic, and Mariah Madain, a student, whose topic was Sarah Emma Edmonds, were awarded second place. Eyer Middle School students Alec Joshi, who chose MADD as his topic, and Nicole Croy, who chose Marion Donovan as her topic, have won third place for their entries.
Karen Brokate, BPWC/Lehigh Valley Women’s History Month Bookmark Contest committee chair, said in a press release about the award ceremony, that the judges received so many excellent submissions from East Penn seventh-graders this year, that they were forced to select five winners instead of three.
“The judges always look forward to reading the essays and viewing the drawings, but we find it extremely difficult to narrow the field to the finalists,” she said “In fact, we found it so difficult this year that we are awarding five prizes. There were so many excellent entries, and it is obvious that many students do intensive research when making their choices. To me, all the students who enter this contest deserve recognition.”
Entries are judged on historical or contemporary significance, originality, and clarity of content, design and layout. All five winners will receive cash prizes.
The goal of the bookmark contest, held in March in honor of Women’s History Month, is to increase students’ awareness of contributions made by women throughout history, as well as in society today.
Bookmarks depicting the first-place entry are distributed in schools, businesses, , and other locations throughout the community. The program is supported through donations from local businesses, which are recognized on the back of the bookmark. A display highlighting the winning entries, honorable mentions and other entries will be on display at the Emmaus Public Library through the end of March.