Contest winners write about the country's natural beauty and unique people.
SneakPEAK staff report
Through The Gallegos Corporation and other local organizations, local fourth grade students were given the chance to write an about what makes America beautiful to them.
“Gerald Gallegos was passionate about giving back to the communities that we live and work in,” says Dacia Belisle, of marketing and sales for the Gallegos Corporation. “He was especially committed to helping with educational causes.”
Carlos Leon at Avon Elementary School and Liz Armas at Gypsum Elementary School won the contest.
“The variety of responses was interesting; some students focused on the natural beauty and places of our country and then others, like Carlos, focused on the deeper meaning of the beauty of America, its people and democracy,” says Melisa Rewold-Thuon, principal of Avon Elementary School. “Our students are very thoughtful and grateful for what they have, even though in many situations it is not a lot.”
Out of the 32 total entries from eight different schools, Carlos and Liz won, earning their school one granite map created by The Gallegos Corporation, which have been displayed in a past Vail Americas Days parade.
“My students were really happy that the Gallegos Corporation selected the topic of ‘What makes America beautiful,’ because ‘beauty’ can shine through in many different ways,” says Jason Pyle, a fourth grade teacher at Avon Elementary School. “These students finally had an opportunity to express what they have felt since growing up in our great nation.”
The essays were judged by a panel of judges from Gallegos Corporation and other businesses and nonprofits from around the Vail Valley.
“We cannot thank The Gallegos Corporation enough for the support they have given to our students,” says Sandra Smyser, superintendent of Eagle County Schools. “We would also like to thank the Youth Foundation, the Vail Valley Foundation and Inspirit, LLC for taking the time to read and judge the students’ essays.”
The three runners up were Flor Vasquez from Avon Elementary School, Naomi Harding from Eagle County Charter Academy and Lauren Kenyon from Carbondale Community School.
“The map will be an enduring symbol for the students of what each individual can accomplish with thoughtfulness and hard work,” said Rewold-Thuon.
The essays that Carlos and Flor wrote, which are also printed below, will be preserved and mounted next to the map, which is now displayed on the wall of the lobby in Avon Elementary School.
America: A Country of Beauty
By Carlos León, Avon Elementary, contest winner
What makes America beautiful is its language. It is a universal language that brings nations together and helps them better understand their roots and culture. It brings out the good values for being successful. I like the generosity America offers everyone. I like the education they provide to those who need it.
What makes America beautiful is the greatness of its people. They take care of their green areas like forests and rivers. There is no pollution there and little trash in its streets. I see the love and care they have for their animals. They walk them along the parks and play with them. I think that everyone looks out for the well-being of this country.
This country is beautiful because of the freedom people have for expressing any idea. Everything is organized with care, especially when it comes to the children. I love the development in America, from its cities to its amusement parks. For me, America is beautiful and great!
Why America is Beautiful
By Flor Vàsquez, Avon Elementary, runner up
Why America is beautiful? It’s not the trees or the mountains. It’s not the fields or the buildings. It’s the people who make this country big and beautiful. The people who are working, that think of all the people around them, make this country grow. It’s the system and laws that help guide the nation. The most beautiful thing of the world is the freedom we have which makes our nation the greatest!
This land is made for all us.