The winners of the Rotary Character Project Essay Contest at Homestead Elementary are, in front, from left, Caitlyn Smith, second place; Abigail Hajny, first place; and Finnley Shaver, third place. Presenting the honors are, back row, Mrs. Sims, Mrs. Cotton and Mrs. Webb, fourth-grade teachers.

The Crossville Noon Rotary Club has recently completed its annual Character Essay Project in partnership with Cumberland County Schools. 

The fourth-graders are asked to write a one-page paper or essay on one of the topics of the 4-Way Test and how it relates to them. 

The third-place winner at each school received a $15 gift card, the second-place winner at each school received a $25 gift card and the first-place winner at each school received a brand new bicycle. 

With nearly 400 submissions, 2019 marks the most well participated contest in the club’s recent history.  

For more information about the Crossville Noon Rotary Club visit their website at and follow them on Facebook.

Over the coming weeks, the Chronicle will be publishing photos of the essay winners, along with the first-place winning entry from each participating school.


Friendship is Key

By Abigail Hajny

Homestead Elementary


Hey my name is Emma and I am 9 years old. I am in fourth grade. Today my mom got me ready for school. I ate breakfast and got on the bus.

When I got to school I met up with my friends in front of the school. We went inside and went to class. We sat down and the teacher said we had a new student. I whispered to my friend. “Who do you think it is,” I said looking at the door slightly opening. “Here she is,” my teacher said.

This girl was short, short haired, and her clothes were old hand me downs and khakis. Her shoes were super dirty. She looked down and said, “My-My name is Leiah.” She looked very frightened. I looked at her and waved. “Do you seriously want to be friends with that rat,” my friend asked.

“Giver her a chance and stop calling her a rat. She is beautiful in her own way,” I said. She looked back at me and waved.

At recess I told my friends I would be right back. I went to the new girl and said hi. She said hi back and asked if I wanted to play chalk with her. I said yes. We played the whole recess. I had made a new friend. Friendship is key.