County honors third-graders for eco-themed calendar art

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published February 10, 2016


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Macomb County third-graders who have a second-nature knack for art were recently honored for their contributions to an environmentally themed calendar.

The Macomb Intermediate School District gave out awards Jan. 28 for its 2016 Environmental Art Competition, including awards for its 2016 Environmental Calendar Contest. According to organizers, the contest’s purpose is to create artwork that demonstrates the importance of green living and recycling.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Anthony V. Marrocco presided over the awards at the MISD’s administration building in Clinton Township.

Twelve students’ work prominently represents each of the months featured in the 2016 calendar, and one of the students, Liliana Caruso, of

Monfort Elementary, received a grand prize title; 24 students were awarded honorable mentions, and their work is featured in the calendar as well.

Utica Community Schools winners included Caruso, who represents  January, and Plumbrook Elementary student Miles Laessle, who represents December. Honorable mentions include Monfort’s Brock Schultz and Oliver Calus, and Plumbrook’s Savannah Sumbry and Adaline Beveridge.

In the Warren Consolidated Schools district, Wilde Elementary student Michael Warda’s work will be featured on the July calendar, and Christina Messina won an honorable mention.

Wilde Elementary third-grade teacher Kelly Bellew said Warda was very excited to be chosen in the top 12.

“He’s a very creative kid,” she said. “As soon as he turned (his entry) in, we knew it would be one of our winners.”

Bellew described Warda’s drawing as some kids at the beach — one is snorkeling while another is building a sand castle. For his efforts,

Warda won a goodie bag and a parks pass, and he is also eligible to go on a boat trip with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office this spring, Bellew said.

“He will get a fishing pole and a tackle box,” she added.

Bellew said her school’s science curriculum discusses ways to save the environment and enjoy the Great Lakes without harming them.

“So they drew these pictures to show how they would enjoy the Great Lakes with their families and friends,” she said.

Heath Allen, who teaches third-graders at Plumbrook in Sterling Heights, said Laessle represented UCS by having his art appear in the calendar’s main December image. Allen described Laessle’s design as an ice-fishing scene with some evergreens in the background.

“His was a frozen pond, kind of a hole with a couple of fish (on the ice),” the teacher said.

Allen said this year’s calendar contest theme is water resources. Students could use colored pencils or crayons for their work, he said.
Students who participated in the contest will receive a calendar, and the 36 students who had their work featured in some capacity were invited to the Jan. 28 ceremony, Allen said. He said the top winners also look forward to a boat trip.

“They take them on Lake St. Clair,” he said. “I’ve had winners in previous years. They have come back with a fishing pole and some tackle.”

Learn more about the Macomb Intermediate School District by visiting