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Ennis student wins statewide ‘Flag Day’ essay contest

April Dvorak, 7, of Ennis is the 2008 grand prize winner of the SPJST Flag Day Essay Contest. April is the daughter of Danny and Jennifer Dvorak of Ennis.
SPJST youth ages six to high school senior competed in the contest designed to promote patriotism and creative writing. Entries were judged by a panel of writing specialists on creativity, grammar, and neatness.
For her prize, April received a $150 gift certificate on Wednesday, June 11 at the 30th SPJST Convention in Killeen, Texas. Accompanying her for the presentation were parents Danny and Jennifer and younger sister Misty. April also read her winning essay to more than 500 adults in attendance at the convention.
She received a standing ovation. April and her family are members of SPJST Lodge 25, Ennis.
SPJST is a fraternal benefit society founded in 1897 by Czech pioneers. SPJST offers life insurance, youth clubs, summer camps, scholarships, and community service opportunities.
For more information about SPJST, visit www.spjst.org.
April’s essay appears below:

What It Means to Be a Patriotic Texan
By April Dvorak of
Lodge 25, Ennis
First, I asked my mom what does “patriotic” mean, and she said someone showing love towards their country, but in this case patriotic means showing love towards the state of Texas. I show love toward Texas by keeping the land clean. I pick up trash and cans along the road where I live. Daddy, my sister, and I planted flowers to keep Texas beautiful.
I am a patriotic Texan by flying the U.S.A. flag in front of my house on Flag Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, and Veteran’s Day. I fly the U.S.A. flag to show thanks to my Paw-Paw and Grandpa who were both in the Army. I fly my flag because I love my country, and I love Texas. Everyday before school starts, the students say the Texas pledge and sing “Texas, Our Texas.”
Being a patriotic Texan means being involved in the community by helping others in need. Every year, my family donates food, clothes, and toys during Thanksgiving and Christmastime.
Patriotic Texan means visiting the elderly in the nursing homes especially during Christmas and Easter. The SPJST youth sang Christmas carols and made ornaments to give to the elderly during Christmas and Easter time.
Patriotic Texans means doing my best in school and learning all that I can. Also, I can be a good Texan Patriotian by showing respect to my teachers and my friends. The students this week in my school learned the importance of voting. A patriotic Texan uses his right to vote for what he believes in. I can’t wait until I can really vote. I am going to be a patriotic Texan by helping others in my school because I was selected to participate in the school team mediation program. I can’t wait because I will be trained by my counselor to help other students to solve problems in a good way instead of bad ways.
As you can see, there are many ways to show your love to be a patriotic Texan.
It’s great to live in Texas and the U.S.A.

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