Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Third Grader Wins Somers Elementary School Writing Contest – What I Like About Somers, New York

This past June, Primrose Elementary School in Somers had every child in the third grade spend the school day putting together an essay on "What I like about Somers, New York.” Blue suburban skies, ample fields of play and a close knit community of kids, the literary types among the class of 2022 must have reveled in a day to show off their aptitude to put prose to paper. "I was not that excited," says Viktoria Barbarakis. "It was the end of the year so I didn't want to do it." But she didn't let the natural inclination to reach for summer get in the way of her inspiration and beat out 200 other students for first prize.

A good day’s work definitely had its just reward. “She won a $30 cash prize,” said her mom.

Of course, with no guarantees in the face of swimming pools, camp and kicking back, the effort demonstrates her ongoing maturity, according to her dad. “She’s getting more and more independent,” said Minas Barbarakis.

Either way, her lead in was exactly where most of would start. "I like Somers the way it is as a cute and small town," she penned in her paper.

Soccer and baseball fields galore at Reis and Fireman’s Parks, Somers meets Victoria’s approval in its ability to let all in on the action. “Everybody can play sports in Somers,” she wrote.

The big town get-togethers are not to be missed either, according to her piece, and the Halloween parade of kids this past October was memorable – even if the costume she wore was not readily available to her recollection.  “I forgot, it was last year,” she pleaded.

Her composition had a better handle on the annual April carnival where rides, friends and food dominate the day but still doesn’t amount to the most important part. “I like going there because I really get to bond with my family,” it says on page two.

That’s what Sundays are for too, and the Angle Fly Preserve suits her just fine over kick off time. “One time it was so beautiful outside that we decided that we should have a picnic outside and in the stream. So we packed the cooler, brought some beach chairs, and we were on our way,” she scribed.

Outdoors aside, good eats are just as important to kids as the chamber of commerce and the “delicious burgers” at the Burger Barn certainly suffice. It’s also easy to understand her high rankings for its ambiance. “Because it’s like a barn” she asserted.

Old Bet – elephant of Somers circus pioneer Hachaliah Bailey – maybe knowing that feeling, Victoria is sure where the town stands in terms of its rich past. “Somers has a lot, and I mean a lot, of history,” she wrote.

And even though Richard Somers wasn’t an Indian chief like the one to the south in Mt. Kisco, she says, “He was an honorable man who died on a ship that blew up.”

Sort of missing the part where Somers’ ship exploded prematurely in its effort to take out a British ship off Tripoli, Victoria admitted her own struggles during social studies. “I’m not good at history,” she clarified.

Or maybe she actually did miss that day and doesn’t give herself enough credit – a possibility that was proven when she completed her essay. “I thought it was ok but not the winning piece,” she said.

Still, winning was not as easy as it sounds. Having to get up and read her story in front of 200 classmates, left the answer obvious on how she felt about winning. “What do you think, I was really nervous,” she joked.

But Dad had no doubts – especially when a representative from the Somers Women’s Club showed up at the house and presented the prize. “We were very proud and pleasantly surprised,” he said.

Looking forward, Dad doesn’t see any problem maintaining the new bar that his daughter has now set for herself.

She just has to make sure she doesn’t wear the same Halloween outfit from last year. 

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