Dunham 7th grade students Rachel Stanger and Renden Street were winners in the Sertoma Club’s “What Freedom Means To Me” essay contest.
This year, 116 essays were submitted from 5 different schools in East Baton Rouge Parish. From those entries, 4 winners were selected. Rachel and Renden placed in the essay contest along with two other students from local schools. The winners each received a plaque and $100 savings bond.
The stories shared by her great grandfather about his service in World War II provided the inspiration for Rachel’s essay. “I was proud to tell other people of my great grandfather’s service to our country,” said Rachel, who has been a Dunham student since the 3rd grade.
Renden’s grandfather also inspired his essay with stories about the Marines and combat. “I felt so proud sharing my connection to the Armed Forces through my grandparents,” he said. Renden has been at Dunham for 7 years.
Both students appreciate their teachers’ support as they wrote their winning essays. Renden credits the influence of 7th grade history teacher Rob Sullivan, “who is a mentor to me and has taught me all about history.” Rachel is thankful for Middle School English teacher Gerri Bove’s assistance in “checking my grammar and making sure everything was spelled correctly.”
Each year, The Sertoma Club of Baton Rouge sponsors its Freedom Week essay contest, designed to help students think about freedom and its related responsibilities. The contest is open to all 7th grade students in East Baton Rouge Parish.