Makayla LaRue, a fourth-grader at Roberts Street Elementary School was the winner of the Canastota Optimist Club's essay contest based on the theme "The Power of Youth."
LaRue will receive a $200 savings bond during the school board meeting April 20.
In addition, LaRue's essay has been sent to the district level to be judged along with winners from other Optimist Club districts. The winner of the district competition will be sent to the international-level contest. College scholarships are available for top winners at the district and international levels.
"Makayla did a wonderful job of articulating this year's theme," said club president Jeanie Baer. "She expressed herself well through the essay and deserved the honor of first place."
High school student Bonnie Bethea and Roberts Street Elementary student Blair Debrucque were the runners up in the essay contest.
The club has been participating in the contest for the past three years and has been active in the Canastota community since 2006. Other programs the club participates in are the Optimist Basketball League and Intramural League, family movie night and Student Ambassador Award Night.
According to Baer the club is currently trying to establish a park in Canastota and raising funds to get the project off the ground.