Senator Banks encourages fourth graders to celebrate Statehood Day

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

“There’s nothing quite like celebrating Statehood Day at the Statehouse,” Banks said. “Indiana’s past, present and future all come together in a unique fashion – with our youth leading the way.”

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.”

Banks said the essay contest is also a great way to encourage students to voice their thoughts and ideas about Indiana. This 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 .

Banks said education officials should make plans soon, because space may be limited.

“I encourage all local teachers and administrators to take advantage of this special celebration,” Banks said.

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