Whittier School’s Autumn Parsons wins state fire safety poster contest
MASSILLON — With a blue ribbon pinned to her pink diamond sweater, Autumn Parsons stood before her classmates beaming with pride.
She had worked hard thinking, designing and coloring as the 8-year-old entered her first drawing competition.
On Monday, she received the fruit of her labor.
“It’s amazing,” the Whittier Elementary School sophomore said as she was showered with gifts and praise from city officials, school staff and her peers.
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Parsons is the winner of the Ohio State Fire Marshal Fire Safety Poster Contest for students in kindergarten through third grade. A separate competition is held for students in grades four to six. Parsons was the only winner from Stark County.
Jesse Baughman, fire safety educator in the office of fire prevention at Office of the State Fire Marshalpresented Parsons with a blue ribbon, a laminated copy of his poster and a certificate.
“It’s amazing,” Baughman said of his poster. “I am very proud and honored to have you in our region.”
How many students from Ohio participated in the contest?
About 60 children from across the state entered the pageant, down from previous years, he said.
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A group of nine educators chose the winning entries, Baughman said.
Baughman said students are asked to create a poster promoting a fire prevention theme.
The student originally participated in the Massillon Fire Department coloring contest
The student from Whittier was one of the participants in the Massillon fire department coloring contest. Students from Whittier, Franklin and Gorrell Schools as well as St. Mary’s and St. Barbara’s participated.
From these entries, Parsons was selected and passed on to the state.
Parsons’ drawing included a self-portrait of her blowing out a candle. The poster reminded everyone to “remember to blow out the candles before you leave the house”.
Her mother, Holly Patterson, said they thought about what she could draw based on the themes presented.
Autumn Parsons poster focused on candle safety
Parsons chose to draw a poster based on candle safety.
“It’s one of the most common (reasons for fires),” she said. “It’s dangerous.”
His poster will be used by the state to promote fire safety and prevention, Baughman said.
Massillon Fire Inspector Tammy Wagner said the contest was optional for students. Parsons met the challenge head-on, and his efforts will put Massillon in prominence at the state level.
“We appreciate your efforts and are proud of what you do,” Fire Chief Matt Heck told Parsons.
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Along with firefighters and the Fire Pup, Mayor Kathy Catazaro Perry joined in recognizing the youngster with a proclamation declaring March 8 as Fall Parsons Day.
The mayor applauded Parsons for his outstanding artwork and fire safety awareness.
“Your poster has the potential to save lives and prevent injuries,” added Catazaro Perry.
The mayor also presented Parsons with a City of Champions pin.
“I just don’t know what to say,” Parsons said during the presentation.
Parsons enjoys drawing, painting and animation. She aspires to become a famous artist and to make and direct her own animated film.
“I’m so excited. I never thought I would have my own day. I’m so proud of myself,” Parsons said. “I want to cry tears of joy.”
Contact Amy at 330-775-1135 or [email protected].
On Twitter: @aknappINDIA