Community: Lions Club recognizes peace poster winners

The Burbank Noon Lions Club honored three students for winning the local level of the Lions Clubs International - Annual International Peace Poster Contest.

The theme was “A Celebration of Peace." Winners each receiving $25 were Amadis Madrid, representing the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley; Jamie Perez Fernandez, Luther Burbank Middle School; and Gracia Rojas of Muir Middle School. Students were selected by personnel from each school.

Lions Clubs International established the Peace Poster contest more than 27 years ago to promote the awareness of world peace internationally among youth. This is the 21st year the Burbank Noon Lions club has sponsored the project in Burbank.

Winners of this competition have the opportunity to proceed to the next level. After all judging around the world, there will be 23 Merit winners (receiving $500) and one top winner, receiving $5,000 and a special award trip.

Elks give gift of knowledge to Providencia Elementary

The Burbank Elks Lodge recently made its 12th annual stop at Providencia Elementary School, delivering paperback dictionaries to three third-grade classes.

Exalted Ruler John Coyle was joined by fellow Elks members Charlene Peale, who is dictionary chair and chair of the board of trustees, as well as Greg Peale and Ramona Higgins.

Each year, all the third-graders at Providencia receive dictionaries. This year, 1,031 dictionaries were given, Charlene Peale said.

Jennifer Culbertson, Providencia's principal, introduced Coyle to the students. He told them the dictionaries will help them with not only their spelling, but many other subjects of reference, too.

There is a place at the beginning of the book where students can write their names, and their teachers' names have been placed on a label on the same page.

It has the symbols for sign language, a list of planets, history of each country, the state capitals and when each became a state and the longest word in the English language that took up half a page.

Other highlights in the book are the U.S. presidents and their biographies, the U.S. Constitution and the evolution of the American flag's design.

The students oohed and awed as Coyle told them each highlight.

Joining in the morning presentation was Burbank Unified Supt. Matt Hill and Peter Knapik, the district's director of elementary education .

The Elks and Providencia already share a partnership in that for the past 15 years the fraternal organization has welcomed the nearby school to hold its fifth-grade promotion ceremony at the lodge, Culbertson said.

"On behalf of Providencia's third-graders and, of course, on behalf of all the third-graders in our district, thank you so much for your generosity," Culbertson told the Elks. "The fact that they will have [the dictionaries] for years to come is so special."

As the arts are a major part of the school's curriculum, Culbertson added, the school has been recognized as a 2016 Exemplary Arts Program School. The designation is from the California Department of Education as part of its Gold Ribbon Awards.

So, to thank the Elks members for their donation, each class sang a song and had drawn colorful props to help illustrate the lyrics. They also presented the Elks with handmade thank-you notes.

"I want to thank all of you for entertaining us with some beautiful music and all your artwork," Coyle said. "You are very talented, though obviously the school teaches much more than singing and art. I'm looking at penmanship here that for a third-grader is really unbelievable. Some adults cannot write this clear."

Carol Lopez, parent of student Cesar Lopez, attended the ceremony and said she thinks the dictionary-donation program is great because it keeps him off the Internet.

"He can use it without asking me to go online, so it's safer than using the computer," she said.

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JOYCE RUDOLPH can be reached at rudolphjoyce10@gmail.com.

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