28,000 Hoosier fourth graders participated in 2019 program
INDIANAPOLIS (May 29, 2019) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®, today announces the winners of its essay contest and best classroom contest for the 2019 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health. In 2019, 28,000 Indiana fourth grade students took part in the Education Program – a record for the program.
The 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health, immerses Indiana 4th grade students in the world of the Indianapolis 500 and 500 Festival, exploring their important place in the state’s history and culture. The Education Program takes place during the spring and is free and open to all Hoosier 4th grade classrooms. The 500 Festival provides teachers registered for the Education Program with engaging lessons and classroom materials. The Education Program is a combination of in-class curriculum – based on Indiana Academic Standards – and an optional Study Trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or a Mobile Study Trip to your school, bringing the classroom lessons to life.
Evan Stemler, a fourth grade home school student from New Albany, Indiana has been named the winner of the 2019 Education Program essay contest. Students participating in the essay contest were asked to write an essay about a float that they would design for the 2019 IPL 500 Festival Parade. Submissions included vivid descriptions of traditions that students would incorporate, music that would accompany their float, and design details of floats. Essays were judged on the basis of focused ideas, compelling word choice, strong voice, and standard writing principles.
As the 2019 essay contest winner, Evan Stemler received four tickets to the 2019 IPL 500 Festival Parade and four tickets to the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. To read Evan’s winning essay, click here.
The essay contest runners-up were Lucy Moore and Connor Sudduth, both from Cherry Tree Elementary School in Carmel, Indiana. Both students received a 500 Festival prize pack and their teacher, Ms. Jessica Kuznarsky, received four tickets to the IPL 500 Festival Parade.
Best Classroom Contest
Ms. Kristen Welker’s fourth grade class from Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School, IPS #15, in Indianapolis has been named the winner of the 2019 Best Classroom Contest. They received the highest marks for creating a classroom theme based on the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 events. The classroom themes were judged on originality, attractiveness, design, student involvement, and the quality of education components incorporated into the classroom. Ms. Welker received four tickets to the IPL 500 Festival Parade and a $100 Staples gift card. To view a photo of the classroom, click here.
“The 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health, plays an important role in furthering the 500 Festival’s mission to enrich lives, foster positive community impact and celebrate the Indy 500,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “There were so many great classroom designs and well-written essays. Evan’s essay was both creative and illuminated the spirit of May in the City of Indianapolis. Ms. Welker’s class from Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School went above and beyond to reach the spirit of May. They earned the classroom award through their ingenuity and creative spirit.”
To learn more about the Education Program or to register a class for 2020, visit 500Festival.com/EducationProgram.
The Indianapolis 500 & 500 Festival Education Program is supported by: Indiana University Health, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 500 Festival Foundation, Regions Bank, NTT IndyCar Series, and Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC.
About the 500 Festival
Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $400 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.