From left: Park Avenue School fourth graders Eddie Del Monte, Nicholas Loiaconi, Esther Magana and Daphne Sullivan, winners of the Port Chester Beautification Commission essay contest, pose with Mayor Neil Pagano and Trustees Dan Brakewood, Greg Adams, Luis Marino, Joe Kenner and Gene Ceccarelli at the village board meeting on Monday, June 16 where they received Certificates of Recognition.
From left: Park Avenue School fourth graders Eddie Del Monte, Nicholas Loiaconi, Esther Magana and Daphne Sullivan, winners of the Port Chester Beautification Commission essay contest, pose with Mayor Neil Pagano and Trustees Dan Brakewood, Greg Adams, Luis Marino, Joe Kenner and Gene Ceccarelli at the village board meeting on Monday, June 16 where they received Certificates of Recognition.
Four Park Avenue School fourth graders put their visions for improving the Village of Port Chester on paper and won themselves Certificates of Recognition in an essay contest sponsored by the Port Chester Beautification Commission.

"Poningo Street needs beautification because there is litter everywhere," Esther Magana wrote. She suggested putting up signs telling people not to litter and setting aside a day for people to clean up the streets called Clean Up Your Street Day. "I hope someday someone will take up my idea and make it happen," she concluded.

Esther's essay took first place.

"We are going to encourage residents to take responsibility for their part of the village," said Beautification Commission member Taryn Herbert at the Monday, June 16 Board of Trustees meeting where the certificates were presented by Mayor Neil Pagano. "Esther will be working with us to make that happen."

This year the Commission will be organizing the village's cleanup day which will incorporate residents cleaning up the street they live on.

In an essay that garnered her second place, Daphne Sullivan wrote that the islands like the one across from her house on Puritan Drive and the cemetery on Indian Road should be cleaned up because they are overgrown. "It looks like we don't care about our village and the environment we live in," she said. Nicholas Loiaconi concentrated on improving

downtown Port Chester in his third place essay. He suggested making the stores and restaurants look nicer by painting buildings, planting flowers, installing better signage and paving the roads.

"My idea is that on the roads that lead into and out of the village we should place decorative signs that would welcome people into our village," wrote Eddie Del Monte in his fourth place essay. "I imagine the sign to look like the ones in front of Park Avenue and King Street Schools." He said they should include a fact about the village such as a famous person like Ed Sullivan who lived here or a landmark such as the Capitol Theatre.

"There signs would enhance the image of our village," he concluded.

"Each of the winners was chosen because of their passion," Herbert said.

The Commission received 46 essays to choose from, and each of the authors received a 12" personal pizza donated by John's of Arthur Avenue for their effort. Besides the four who read their essays at Monday night's meeting and were recognized with certificates, a number of student participants received honorable mentions for their work.

Participating teachers, who assigned the essays to be written by their students over spring break, were Jennifer Carriero-Dominguez and Maria O'Brien.