Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Quilt by Third-Grade Class Wraps Up Top Prize at Fair

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Quilt by Third-Grade Class Wraps Up Top Prize at Fair

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland, Staff writer

These 20 faces are made out of bits of yarn, fabric, buttons, felt and even a paper clip. But they are the likenesses of real kids.

And their images on a 2-by-3-foot quilt struck a chord with visitors to the recent Greater Jacksonville Fair. Fairgoers voted the quilt, created by third-graders at Oak Hill Elementary School on the Westside, the winner of a quilt competition sponsored by the fair in partnership with Duval County schools.

Twenty-four elementary schools entered hand-made quilts, which were displayed in the fair's exhibit hall.

Oak Hill's prize was a trophy and $1,000 for library books.

Hyde Park Elementary, also on the Westside, took the second-place award of $750. Its quilt has a border of red, white and blue stripes with stars. In the center is a circle of white doves, white felt letters reading, "Let the white dove sing" and alternating red and blue strips.

Pine Forest Elementary on the Southside took the third-place award of $500. The Grant Road school's fourth-graders fashioned a patchwork quilt with red, white and blue geometric designs. Each of its 24 squares has a different pattern.

Fair officials plan to make the competition an annual event as a way to involve children and promote reading.

The school system bought 3,200 copies of Sam Johnson and the Blue-Ribbon Quilt by Lisa Campbell Ernst and gave the books to children at 80 participating elementary schools. The schools also were given lesson plans tying the book to math, science and other subjects. And they were encouraged to submit a quilt for competition, with 24 choosing to do so.

Loraine Nelson, Oak Hill's principal, welcomed the opportunity to participate, calling it a great project that heightened awareness of the fair's educational side and provided schools with books, lesson plans and the chance to be creative.

Fair visitors were impressed that the faces on Oak Hill's quilt depicted real children, said Joyce Miles, who retired as supervisor of family and consumer sciences for Duval schools and chaired the fair's school involvement committee. …

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