INDIANAPOLIS (May 7, 2012) – The 500 Festival announced today that the winner of the 2012 Education Program Essay Contest is Adrianna Clark from Syracuse Elementary School. The 500 Festival received nearly 1,000 entries from fourth grade students across the state who were enrolled in the 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500® Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health.
The prompt for the essay contest asked students to imagine they had been selected to recommend a Grand Marshal for the IPL 500 Festival Parade. For this parade, the Grand Marshal may be a Hoosier from the past or the present. Who would you choose? Why does this Hoosier deserve to be Grand Marshal for the IPL 500 Festival Parade? The 300-word essays were judged on the basis of focused ideas, compelling word choice, strong voice and standard writing principles.
For her outstanding essay, Adrianna will receive a 500 Festival gift pack including four tickets to the IPL 500 Festival Parade and four tickets to the Indianapolis 500®. Syracuse Elementary teacher, Kris Long, will also receive two qualification tickets and two tickets to the IPL 500 Festival Parade.
Lydia Laker from Nativity Catholic School in Indianapolis and Sam Woodward from Frank H. Hammond Elementary were the runners-up and will each receive a 500 Festival gift pack. All student participants will receive a signed Hero Card from an IndyCar driver.
To view the winning essay, please click here.
The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health is an award-winning program for Indiana fourth grade students that opens up the world of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 and their important place in Indiana’s history and culture. Through an Indiana Academic Standards based curriculum, the program offers a variety of interesting and thought-provoking lessons and projects and a unique opportunity to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for an educational Study Trip during the months of April and May. This year nearly 22,000 Indiana fourth graders will participate in the award-winning program, with 8,000 students attending a Study Trip. More than 178,000 students have participated since the program’s inception in 2004.
The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program is sponsored by the 500 Festival, 500 Festival Foundation, Indianapolis Motor Speedway®, Indiana University Health, Methodist Health Foundation, AAA Hoosier Motor Club, American Dairy Association of Indiana, Inc., BKD, LLP and the IZOD IndyCar Series®.
The mission of the 500 Festival is to advocate and celebrate the spirit, heritage and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®. Through social, cultural and educational events and programs, the 500 Festival enhances the quality of life for all citizens of our communities.
The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 55 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation.
Last year, more than 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors participated in nearly 50 events and programs throughout the month of May. Whether they were athletes running the Mini-Marathon, fourth grade students participating in the Education Program, families enjoying the state’s largest festival for kids or spectators being dazzled by one of the nation’s premier parades, they were there, celebrating the legacy.