Art created by two fifth graders from Galatia Elementary was judged to be good enough for the Illinois Office of Coal Development 2014 calendar.
Noah Miller, 10, and Mason Ratliff, 10, each were named winners in a competition sponsored by the Illinois Office of Coal Development. Students created posters and wrote essays to be published in the calendar. Ratliff also wrote an essay titled "Illinois History: A Journey Fueled by Coal" that won first place. Both boy's posters will appear in the calendar for 2014. Cash is always welcome and the boys each received $50 for their artwork, while Ratliff won $100 for his first place essay.
The school received $1,500 for use in creative writing and research education. Ratliff said he will put half his winnings in the bank and will spend the rest on himself. Miller bought an Underarmor shirt and will spend the rest on undetermined clothing items.
An entourage of teachers and family members accompanied the boys to Springfield to receive their awards from Phil Gonet, president of the Illlinois Coal Association. Dr. Beth Rister, principal of Galatia Elementary, fifth grade teacher Cindy Fry, parents of both boys and a collection of brothers, sisters and grandparents all traveled to Springfield for the event Friday May 10.
Additionally the boys received certificates from the Illinois Senate and the Office of Coal Development.
"I think this is a wonderful program," said Fry. "It gives the students an opportunity to learn about coal."