Dillon invites fourth graders to celebrate State’s birthday

Dillon said many interesting activities are planned to celebrate “Statehood Day” on Friday, Dec. 11 – the day Indiana officially became this nation’s 19th state in 1816.

“This would be a great day to schedule a visit to our historic Statehouse,” Dillon said. “Interactive displays, special music and a chance to see original copies of Indiana’s state constitution will be pat of the fun. This event will bring Indiana history to life for these children as they study out state’s government and heritage.”

Dillon said the day at the Statehouse will begin at 9 a.m. and include interactive activities presented by the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor, the legislature, Indiana Supreme Court, state museum, archives section of the state library, historical bureau, history center and other state agencies. Students will also have a chance to visit many executive, legislative and judicial offices.

At noon, the celebration will move to the North Atrium for a program featuring words of welcome from government officials, special music, installation of original copies of Indiana’s 1816 and 1851 state constitutions into a display case in the Rotunda, and the reading of a winning essay titled “What Indiana Means to Me.”

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

* Essays need to range from 100 to 400 words;

* They can be handwritten or typed;

* They must include the student’s name, teacher’s name and the school’s name, address and telephone number;

* Essays should convey what living in the State of Indiana means to the student and highlight things that make the student glad to be a Hoosier; and

* Deadline is Monday, Nov. 2.

“Statehood Day is a wonderful opportunity for Indiana’s fourth-grade students to celebrate their Hoosier heritage,” said Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett.  “The essay contest gives students a chance to showcase their state knowledge and their writing ability. I encourage students to participate and look forward to meeting the winners.”

Questions about the contest may be directed to 317-233-9830. Essays 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,” Dillon said. “Winners will be notified the week of Nov. 23. I hope many fourth graders in my district will take time to enter and share their thoughts on what Indiana means to them.”

Schools interested in bringing students to this special day of activities may call the Capitol Tour Office at 317-233-5293. School officials are encouraged to make plans soon, because space may be limited.

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