TORRINGTON — Two students from St. John Paul the Great Academy and one student from the Forbes School are local winners of the 2021 fire prevention poster contest, sponsored each year by Connecticut FAIR Plan and the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association.

Torrington Deputy Fire Marshal Jarred Howe awarded certificates and gift cards to fifth-grade students Isabella O’Brien and Alexandra Mazzarelli on March 30 at the St. John Paul the Great Academy. Proudly looking on as classmates applauded were intermediate teacher Jennifer Nypert and academy principal Edward Goad.

Howe made a separate presentation at the Forbes School to first-place winner Mia Diaz, a fourth-grade student in Michelle Horn’s class.

Howe said the winning posters will be judged later at the state level. They will then be on display at Torrington City Hall during Fire Prevention Month in October.

He said winning posters must adhere to guidelines laid out at the start of the school year. They must be grammatically correct and created by the students. It is open to all fourth- and fifth-grade students in Connecticut.

“I think the contest gets kids thinking about fire safety more often,” Howe said. “When we talk to kids about fire safety when they’re young, they actually become the teachers at home. When they come home with this new information, they’re basically re-teaching their siblings and their parents. They look around their house and check their smoke detectors, and that keeps fire safety in the forefront of everybody’s minds.”

Joanne Creedon, principal of Forbes School, said in a statement, “Fire safety is a community issue; fire prevention is our communal responsibility. We’re delighted to partner with the Torrington Fire Department each year to give our students this opportunity to share their knowledge with others through the Poster Contest. Congratulations to our Forbes winner, Mia Diaz!”

Edward Goad, principal of St. John Paul the Great Academy, congratulated his students and said, “This is important because we have to be aware of the health and safety of the students, the town and the community. It’s all very important to understand what the best practices are, how to be able to escape a fire and to be aware of the insides and outsides of the building in case of any emergency. It’s great to have the students involved in such a wonderful program. We are so blessed that the Torrington Fire Department works hard to keep us safe at all times.”

Connecticut Media Group