Lackawanna County Sets Guidelines For Armed Forces Drawing & Essay Contests

Lackawanna County is sponsoring patriotic drawing and essay contests for students in the public and parochial school systems that focus on two of our Country’s most precious commodities – the flag and freedom.               

The contests are being done in conjunction with the May 18th Armed Forces Day Parade, which the County is helping to organize.                

“The contest is a perfect way to honor the commitment military personnel have made to protect our nation.  It also gives students the opportunity to display their talents and express their feelings on the freedoms that we experience every day,” said Commissioner Jim Wansacz.                   

“We are asking our children to reflect upon the core values of our County – freedom and the flag,” said Commissioner Corey D. O’Brien.  “These are precious commodities that many people have paid the ultimate price to safeguard.  It is important to hear what our future leaders think about the flag, freedom, and the sacrifices others have made on our behalf.”                

“This is a great civic exercise.  Our children can express their thoughts and ideas on the core symbols of the United States, while also recognizing that without the sacrifices of so many, we would not be able to enjoy the activities that we experience every day,”  said Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley.               

The categories for the contest are as follows: kindergarten to second grade involves the youngsters preparing a patriotic drawing; third to eighth graders will be asked to develop an essay on the topic of “What Does The U.S. Flag Mean To Me;” and ninth through twelfth grade students will reflect on the topic of “What Does Freedom Mean To Me.”                

The drawings should be done on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper.  The essays for grades 3 – 8 should be no less than 100 words but no more than 300 words.  The upper grades essays should be no less than 300 words but no more than 500 words.                

The format for the writing contests can be a traditional essay or a poem.  Each entry must include the student’s name, grade, school district, address, telephone number or email along with a parent’s name and contact information.                

All participants must be residents of Lackawanna County.                

Submissions should be sent to the Communications Office, Lackawanna County, 200 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503 by April 19, 2013.                

Visit the County’s website at to print off a flyer.                

 There will be a winner from each grade and prizes will be awarded.

Spring Vendor Craft Fair Benefits Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program

The West Scranton Intermediate School is hosting a spring vendor and craft fair on Saturday, March 16 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The event will provide customers with a one stop shopping experience for the spring holidays and raise funds for PROmoting School – community – university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience (PROSPER) drug and alcohol prevention programs.

A wide selection of vendors will be on hand including Mary Kay cosmetics, Avon, Pampered Chef, Lia Sophia, Scentsy, Tastefully Simple and more. Handcrafted items such as jewelry, scarves, shawls, wood crafts, hair bows, and home décor will also be featured. In addition, baskets, door prizes and food will be available. Admission is $2.00 per person.

The PROSPER project is an innovative model for bringing evidence based prevention programs to communities in order to strengthen youth, families, and the community. The focus is on strengthening parent-child relations and problem-solving, building youth life skills, and teaching youth to avoid peer pressure or dangerous behaviors.

The Scranton School District has participated in the PROSPER project for seven years. A team which consists of Penn State Extension, school personnel, students, families, community leaders, health and social service providers, and others work together to implement and sustain scientifically-proven programs that meet the needs of family and youth in Scranton. Currently, The Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14 is being implemented in the district.

The Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14 is a free seven week two-hour program which improves parenting skills, builds life skills in youth and strengthens family bonds. Nearly 100 Scranton families have successfully completed the program.

For more information about the vendor craft fair or PROSPER, call Penn State Extension at 963-6842.

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce.

Arrow Of Light Scouts Honored By Lackawanna County Commissioners

Two scouts from the Scott Township/Montdale Pack 265 were awarded “Certificates of Recognition” from the Lackawanna County Commissioners for meriting the “Arrow of Light” Award. This is the highest honor for a Cub Scout, signifying a youngster’s commitment to outdoor skills, physical fitness, collaboration, and citizenship. Commissioner Jim Wansacz, center, presented Jonathan Oakley, left, and Riley Setzer, right, with certificates to mark their achievement.