SPES Students Win Bookmark Contest Honors


Two Severna Park Elementary students proved that you don’t have to be a police officer to know how to resolve conflicts.

During the Maryland Judiciary’s 14th annual Conflict Resolution Day Bookmark Contest, second-grader Abby McGowan came in second place for the kindergarten-through-third-grade category for all of Maryland schools, and first-grader Killian Kirkland got an honorable mention.

Both students were invited to the Maryland Judicial Center in Annapolis for an awards ceremony on December 5.

How SPES Got Involved

Every fall, the Maryland Judiciary has a contest for students in elementary and middle school to submit a bookmark to share their advice of how to resolve conflicts.

Abby said she was inspired by the “Have You Filled a Bucket Today” book by Carol McCloud. She noticed that the book said if you give someone a smile, it would fill their bucket. She decided on green grass, a bright blue sky with a smiley face, and the words “smiles are free, so give them away” in multiple bright colors. She was surprised that she won, because she only did it for fun. Abby also received a $50 award for winning second place.

Killian was excited to win the honorable mention. He likes doing colorful pictures and bumps that look like waves. He added the words “Be Nice” to show over the colorful background. He said it would be a better world if everyone was nice, and if you’re nice, you get more play dates with friends. One way he shows he’s nice is to share his toys with his younger brother. He also thinks it’s nice to hang out with his family.


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