Happy Birthday Indiana!

E-mail from Indiana State Senators:

Happy Birthday Indiana!
State Senators Encourage Fourth-graders to Celebrate Statehood Day, Share What Indiana Means to Them

(September 7, 2011) – As Indiana’s 195th birthday quickly approaches, I would like to know from area fourth-grade students, “What does Indiana mean to you?”

This question aims to spur creativity in local fourth-graders whom I hope will participate in an annual essay contest – one of many festivities planned for Statehood Day. Indiana became this nation’s 19th state on Dec. 11, 1816.

This year’s birthday party at the state capitol in Indianapolis is on Friday, Dec. 9.

This would be a great day to schedule a class visit to our historic Statehouse. Interactive displays, special music and a chance to see Indiana’s original state constitution will be part of the fun. This event will bring Indiana history to life for these students as they celebrate our state’s government and heritage.

Statehouse events begin at 9 a.m. and include tours and activities hosted by the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, legislature, Indiana Supreme Court, state museum, state library, historical bureau, history center and other state agencies. Students, their parents, teachers and principals also have the opportunity to visit with representatives of the state’s executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

Statehood Day celebrations also feature words of welcome from high-ranking government officials, displays of Indiana’s original 1816 and 1851 state constitutions and the reading of the statewide-winning essay entitled “What Indiana Means to Me.”

The essay competition is open to any Indiana fourth-grade public, private or home-schooled student and is easy to enter:

Entries need to range from 100 to 400 words;
They can be handwritten or typed;
Essays must include the student’s name, teacher’s or parent’s name, school’s name and contact information, including address and telephone number;
Students should convey what living in the state of Indiana means to them and highlight things that make them glad to be a Hoosier; and
Essays must be postmarked no later than Friday, Oct. 28.
Entries should be sent to:

Jennifer Hodge, Coordinator, State Capitol Tour Office
200 W. Washington St., Room 220
Indiana Statehouse
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Judges will choose first-, second- and third-place winners, who will be notified in November. The first-place winner will be invited to read the essay at the Dec. 9 ceremony.

For more information about the contest or to schedule a group to attend the event, contact Hodge at 317-233-9830 or email jhodge@idoa.in.gov.

Education officials should make plans soon, because space may be limited.

I hope many fourth-graders in our district will take time to enter and share their thoughts on what Indiana means to them.



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