Ben Franklin would be proud

January 22, 2006|By BONNIE H. BRECHBILL


A sister and brother from Waynesboro, Pa., took home high honors for their interpretations of some of Benjamin Franklin's sayings.

An art-and-essay contest was sponsored by the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce and the Chambersburg Heritage Center to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Jan. 17, 1706, birth of Benjamin Franklin, for whom Franklin County is named.

The students stood on the inner balcony of the Heritage Center in front of the 8-foot gold-leaf covered statue of Franklin on Saturday to receive their awards.

Haley Porteus, 11, won the essay portion of the contest by expanding on Franklin's statement, "If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing."


"Books can make people feel just about any emotion," Haley wrote. "I enjoy making up stories and writing them on paper. Now that I read Ben Franklin's quote, I think I will try to write better. I don't like the idea of being dead and rotten and nobody remembering me."

A carousel Haley constructed won the Creative Adaptation of a Ben Franklin Quote award in the art division of the contest. The merry-go-round illustrated the same quote with depictions of Huckleberry Finn, Moby Dick and other memorable works of literature.

Her brother, Xavier, 13, received a $25 savings bond for his board game illustrating Franklin's saying, "Fish and visitors stink after three days."

The siblings are students at Montessori Academy in Chambersburg.

Michael Dixon, 10, a fifth-grader at Grandview Elementary School, made a poster incorporating several of Franklin's inventions and received the Best Use of Graphic Design award.

Rosalie Lidard, a Heritage Center associate who served as emcee, said she and the other judges found his entry "very professional."

Five of the winners were from Falling Spring Elementary School, where fourth-grade teacher Rhonda Keefer and art teacher Paula Conca collaborated to prepare their students for the contest.

They combined a Pennsylvania History unit with art expression, and were very impressed with what the students came up with, they said at the awards ceremony.

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