Each year, to keep fire prevention and safety at the forefront of young minds, the Cinnaminson Fire Department sponsors a poster contest as a part of its fire prevention program.
Elementary-aged students, from kindergarten through fifth grade, have the opportunity to display their artistic talent with an important purpose. In late April, three youngsters from Eleanor Rush Intermediate School were lauded for their efforts.
Third grader Camryn Hymanson, fourth grader Sadiyah Dean and fifth grader Emma Del Grippo were this year’s winners.
October is Fire Prevention Month across the nation, and in Cinnaminson, that meant Fire Marshal Lee Park kicks into gear, letting students know all about the poster contest.
“I run the program through the schools and (the kids) get the information for the contest in October,” Park told the Sun on May 4. “The kids have from October through about December or January to work on and complete the posters, and then I collect them.”
Park reviewed each poster, and then passed them along to Burlington County Fire Marshal back in March. It’s the county, not Park or anyone involved with the local fire department, who make the decision on which posters are award worthy.
There are three separate categories kids in both Cinnaminson and Beverly City would qualify for: special education, kindergarten through second grade and third through fifth grades.
“Our department reviews all the submitted posters, and I pick a winner for each grade,” Park explained. “Only three of those can be submitted to the county for consideration.”
All local winners received a certificate from the fire department and a $25 gift card. Dean’s artistic rendering ended up being selected by the Burlington County Fire Marshal to advance from the county level to the state level competition.
Although it doesn’t take a leap of faith to figure the theme of fire prevention in the kitchen might be related to the quarantine during the early months of the pandemic, Park said there’s actually no correlation.
“The Division of Fire Safety is who chooses the theme and who sets the rules each year,” he revealed. “The contest allows us to keep fire prevention education in the schools all year round, instead of just in the month of October.”
According to the state website, Dean would be notified sometime after May 15 if her submission would pass muster.
For more information on contest rules and regulations, visit: www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dfs/pdf/poster_contest_rules_registration_2020-2021.pdf.