Morton Grove's village council chambers were so packed with children and families Monday that, just before the board meeting began, Mayor Dan Staackmann joked, "Are you all here for the holiday sing-a-long?"
Actually, they were there to get awards for the Morton Grove Fire Department's 2012 Fire Prevention Poster Contest.
Capt. William Porter of the department explained that all Morton Grove schools were invited to participate, and that firefighters judged the entries on three criteria: the fire prevention message is correct, 2) the message is clear and 3) the quality of the artwork.
Each student received a plaque with a copy of their artwork and a commemorative Ben Franklin half dollar.
"They're worth quite a bit more than 50 cents, so please don't spend them," Porter cautioned. The fire department chose them because Franklin was a pioneer in fire safety. He established one of the first fire departments and one of the first fire insurance companies, and he invented the Franklin stove, which was an improvement in safety, Porter noted.
The contest winners were:
- Kindergarten: Sydney Cabitac, Hynes School
- First Grade: Noor Aqueel, MCC Full Time School
- Second Grade: Ari Frisch, Park View School
- Third Grade: Alexia Ardelean, Hynes School
- Fourth Grade: Abby Mehr, Hynes School
- Fifth Grade: Antoinette Vandenbroucke, Park View School
- Sixth Grade: co-winners Matt Schauwecker and Dylan Micor, both of Park View School
- Seventh Grade: Luke Ruehrandz, Jerusalem Lutheran
- Eighth Grade, Mark Na, Jerusalem Lutheran
- Overall winner (best of the contest): Joshua Pae, Park View School