Four sixth class students from Louth have been crowned winners of the Christmas tree Essay Competition
Four sixth class students from a Drogheda national school have been unveiled as winners of the first ‘Love A Real Tree’ essay-writing competition.
The four students, Luka Juraityte, Best Akin, Antonio Ofodile and Patrick Keane from St. Joseph’s Mell National School in Drogheda, beat the competition from over 40 schools around the country to win top prize with their essay, ‘All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Irish Christmas Tree’.
More than 1,000 fifth and sixth class students participated overall in the competition, which was organised by the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association (ICTGA), as part of their ‘Love A Real Tree’ campaign to encourage families to consider a real Irish-grown Christmas tree this year.
The winning students, taught by Ms. Paula Galavan at St. Joseph’s National School, will receive a real Irish-grown Christmas tree for each of their families and one for their school, sponsored by local Christmas Tree Grower, John White of Whites Christmas Trees in Dundalk. The students will also share a cash prize worth €150.
Every participating school across the country will also receive a Christmas tree seedling in Spring 2016, with planting and after-care instructions.
Other Regional winners in the competition include: Brian O'Callaghan, 6th Class, Feenagh National School, Feenagh, Co Limerick; Sean Gallagher, 5th Class, Glanworth National School, Glanworth, Co. Cork; Abby O'Sullivan, 6th Class, Scoil Mhuire na nAingeal National School, Mary St., Clonmel; 5th Class trio, Abbie Ryan, Caoimhe Crotty & Lucy Reilly from Ballymacarbry National School, Ballymacarbry, Co. Waterford and Clodagh Foran and Shauna Whitty from Gusserane National School, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford.
Speaking at the announcement of the winning students, Joe Flynn of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association said: “It is only the first ‘Love A Real Tree’ essay writing competition but we’ve been truly overwhelmed by the standard of writing and creativity we received from the students. A winner had to be picked, however, and the winning essay was well-planned, articulate and emphasised how, with the real Irish Christmas tree at the heart, Christmas is a shared experience with family, relations and school friends.”
John White of Whites Christmas Trees added: “The ‘Love A Real Tree’ essay competition has been a really rewarding initiative for us to be involved in and we’re delighted to be presenting the winning students and St. Joseph’s Mell National School with their real Christmas trees, which have been grown in the locality.”
The ‘Love A Real Tree’ essay competition is a national competition, requiring fifth and sixth class students to write a discussion-type essay entitled “All I Want for Christmas Is A Real Irish Christmas Tree’. Based on research, the essay had to be between 350 and 450 words and explain why they want a real Irish Christmas Tree this year.
As well as being fun, the project aimed to enhance and develop several elements of the Primary School Curriculum, including IT Skills, Environmental Studies, Rural Science, Geography, Enterprise, Education, Geography, Literacy and Numeracy and Science.
Advice on how to care for a real Irish-grown Christmas tree is available here
Further information is also available on Facebook/lovearealtree or by searching #lovearealtree on social media.