Coon Rapids kindergarten class wins statewide contest

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

Hamilton Elementary School kindergartners in Kristin Wefel’s class learned a big lesson this year: Their actions affect the water they drink.

Kristin Wefel’s kindergarten class at Hamilton Elementary School in Coon Rapids was the elementary school winner in H2O for Life’s statewide “Clean Drinking Water Starts With Me” poster contest. Photos by Olivia Alveshere
Kristin Wefel’s kindergarten class at Hamilton Elementary School in Coon Rapids was the elementary school winner in H2O for Life’s statewide “Clean Drinking Water Starts With Me” poster contest. Photos by Olivia Alveshere

They created a poster to illustrate this lesson, featuring a big glass of water surrounded by self portraits of every student in the class.

The poster was announced as the elementary school winner of H2O for Life’s “Clean Drinking Water Starts With Me!” poster contest March 22, World Water Day.

The poster was selected from more than 1,300 entries coming out of 70 school districts across Minnesota, according to Judy Onufer, education program coordinator with H2O for Life.

The class poster will be displayed in the Minnesota State Capitol, alongside middle school, high school and grand prize winners’ posters, through August. Then it will be showcased at the State Fair.

Artists of the four winning posters each received $50, and the grand prize winner, a senior at Burnsville High School, also received an Elkay water bottle filling station for her school.

Onufer presented Hamilton students with a giant check April 12 while their teacher, Principal Melissa Monson, Superintendent David Law, School Board Members Nicole Hayes and Jeff Simon, Stew Thornley from the Minnesota Department of Health and others looked on.

Wefel and her students were proudly wearing T-shirts featuring their poster design.

The poster contest, held annually, “starts that conversation right from an early age about the importance of water resources,” Onufer said. “This was absolutely the most incredible poster.”

In addition to the check she brought, Onufer gave each student an H2O bracelet and presented Wefel with a tumbler and special bracelet made by women in Africa who have relatively recently gained access to clean drinking water.

“Thank you for being clean water stewards,” Onufer said to Wefel’s class.

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One of the four winning posters in H2O for Life’s statewide “Clean Drinking Water Starts With Me” contest was designed by Kristin Wefel’s kindergarten class at Hamilton Elementary School in Coon Rapids.
One of the four winning posters in H2O for Life’s statewide “Clean Drinking Water Starts With Me” contest was designed by Kristin Wefel’s kindergarten class at Hamilton Elementary School in Coon Rapids.