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Newhall: Peachland students win $10,000 award with Bobo

Class mascot, a stuffed teddy bear, becomes hero of children’s book about healthy living

Posted: March 26, 2013 6:26 p.m.
Updated: March 26, 2013 6:26 p.m.

Peachland Avenue Elementary School kindergarten teacher Merrilee Bigham, right, and her class show a copy of their book, and Bobo. The class's book won a grand prize and $10,000 for the school. Signal photo by Dan Watson

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The 32 kindergartners in Marrilee Bingham’s class at Peachland Elementary School in Newhall can now add “author” to their list of accomplishments.

The students earned a $10,000 cash prize for their school in the Lysol/Scholastic Healthy Habits Story Writing Contest.

Peachland Principal Sarah Johnson said the money will be used on technology, gardens and expanding the kindergarten library.

“Mrs. Bingham is such a dedicated and superstar teacher she has already spent some of her own money before we received the check,” said Johnson. “We’re incredibly proud and it’s a great little story about Bobo the Bear.”

Bingham was recently notified that the original story written by her class, “Bobo the Bear Goes to School,” had captured the grand prize.

“I am so thankful,” Bingham said. “It almost doesn’t seem real.”

The focus of the writing contest was how to fight germs in the classroom so that children can remain healthy and in school.

“We really need to emphasize healthy habits for children coming to school for the first time,” said Bingham. “We made a list of good things to take care of our bodies, how not to spread germs and to eat healthy food.”

The book includes photos of Bobo, the class mascot teddy bear, at locations around the school.

The story follows Bobo, who doesn’t know about healthy habits, learn germ facts, the importance of hand washing and other practices to stay healthy at school.

One of the pages in the book shows Bobo eating a candy bar for a snack.

The page reads, “The children told him. “No, no, Bobo, you need to eat a variety of healthy foods every day.”

Bingham said the prize money will be used for a long list of items slated for purchase by the school.

“We are going to buy wagons for our play yard,” she said. “We had to recycle our two old wagons into planters so we have no wagons.”

In addition to the play yard equipment, the school will add more organic gardens.

“We already had some organic gardens, but we’ve added more so that our special education students and preschool can plant organic gardens,” Bingham said. “We are going to buy things that will benefit everyone.”

Bingham said the money will also be used to upgrade technology in the classroom.

“We’re really trying to spread it (the money) around the school, but mostly to benefit the younger students,” she said. “We’re so excited and can’t wait to do more fun things for the school and see their happy little faces.”



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