Alyssa Carter, who attends PS 197, wrote the first-place essay, titled “The Census.” She explained in her essay that the census is key for communities to receive funding for hospitals, nursing homes and medical agencies.
“People have to fill out the census so they can be counted,” she said. “People need to get involved.”
The essay contest, hosted by HITN, a Spanish-language media company that offers educational and cultural programming, was meant to promote census participation in hard-to-count communities and raise awareness about the need for children to be accurately counted.
Coming in second place was Ava Ramos of PS 380 in Brooklyn, followed by third-place finisher Xandre Maldonado of PS 20 in Manhattan.
More than 300 fourth-grade students from 15 schools across the five boroughs submitted entries to the competition.
Carter said she was “very excited” and happy to win the essay contest. Last Friday, she received a Certificate of Merit from Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, along with a trophy, a $200 gift card and a backpack filled with back-to-school supplies.
A Citation of Merit was also presented to Carter’s teacher, Ms. Byck.
The second and third-place winners both received $25 gift cards and backpacks with school supplies.
Asked how she would celebrate her winning essay, Carter said she was preparing to “watch a movie with my mom and my family.”