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Foundation essay asks: Are you a Child of Appalachia?

Foundation asks: Are you a Child of Appalachia?
Essay winners reflect on what it means to be an Appalachian Ohio native4th-6th grade winner Layne Gerbig and teacher

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio sponsored the I’m a Child of Appalachia™ Essay Contest open to all 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students located in the 29 counties of Appalachian Ohio. The contest asked students to focus on what it means to grow up in Appalachian Ohio and is intended to help middle school students think about the beauty and benefits of living in Appalachia.  

Two student winners were selected from nearly 700 entries, and several honorable mentions also were chosen. The 4th-6th grade winner was Layne Gerbig, a 6th grade student at Dover Middle School in Dover, Ohio, Tuscarawas County. The 7th-8th grade winner was Katie Lambert, a 7th grade student at Western Lake High School in Latham, Ohio, Pike County. edward jones

The winners will receive a $100 U.S. Savings Bond and a $500 grant will be awarded to the student’s classroom for curriculum enrichment. 

“As a child of Appalachia, my roots also grow and deepen as I live and learn in this area rich in natural resources and heritage,” wrote Gerbig.

Lambert’s essay reflected on the privileges on growing up in a rural region like Appalachia.

“I will succeed because I’m from Appalachian Ohio,” Lambert wrote. “I am glad that I awake to lush green, witness dazzling sunsets, and sleep under twinkling stars.”

7th-8th grade winner Katie Lambert and FAO Trustee Deborah McDavisThe essay contest is part of the Foundation’s broader I’m a Child of Appalachia™ campaign, which focuses on telling the success stories of outstanding individuals from the region. 

Winners and their families and teachers attended the Foundation’s I’m a Child of Appalachia™ fall event and celebration for special recognition on Wednesday, November 1 at the Ohio University Inn, Athens, Ohio. For more information, please contact: Ann Day, Program Director at (740) 453-9969 or (740) 753-1111 or

Honorable mentions/finalists and counties:
4th grade – Mason Montgomery, Scioto; Harlie Schaeffer, Ross; Matthew Groy, Muskingum; Zack Kelly, Lawrence; Ashley Irwin, Carroll; Nicole Camponesechi, Ross; Austin Keefer, Carroll; Sydney Marrs, Athens.

5th grade – Conor Markins, Lawrence; Sarah Travis, Lawrence; Corey Sherman, Scioto; Sloane Massie, Jackson; Greyson Griffiths, Jackson; Brianna Tavoletti, Monroe; Devin King, Perry; Cora Landrum, Jackson; Nathan Parks, Jackson.

6th grade – Paige Collins, Guernsey; Alexis Gribble, Tuscarawas; Zulfa Rizqiya, Athens; Elizabeth Schoeppner, Athens; Alex Staron, Athens

7th grade – Jonathon Cunningham, Monroe; Rachel Nomina, Gallia; Bridget Kimes, Gallia; Jordan Ravine, Tuscarawas; Gretta Reyer, Highland; Olivia Sprague, Washington; Caden Brooker, Washington; Katie Gordon, Hocking; Jordan Lockhart, Washington.

8th grade – Robert Hinshaw, Lawrence; Dylan Lewton, Tuscarawas; Alicyn Campbell, Tuscarawas; Madison Bauer, Washington; Stacy Stump, Gallia; Eddie Tornero, Tuscarawas; Kailey Longpre, Ross; Zach Johnson, Scioto.

Find out more about the Foundation’s I’m a Child of Appalachia™ campaign and read the 2006 winning essay entries.