Lt. Governor Loren Leman congratulates Hannah Watkins at last year's CFK awards banquet
It was announced last week that 2005 Caring for the Kenai winner Hannah Watkins, a junior at Kenai Central High School has been named the winner of the 2006 Prudential Spirit of Community Award.
The National Prudential award honors a young person in middle level and high school grades for outstanding volunteer service to their communities. Created in 1995 by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the award constitutes the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteerism. Over the past 11 years, the program has honored more that 70,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national levels. Hanna Watkins was nominated by her teacher Ms. Berghotz because of her outstanding achievement in the class assignment for the Caring For The Kenai program, sponsored by Agrium and Chevron. Watkins was the first student to win for an idea to help the community prepare for a natural disaster.
Hannah wrote and illustrated several books for parents to read to their pre-school children to help them understand and be prepared for natural disasters. “I decided that for my Caring For The Kenai project, I wanted to create a means by which preschoolers could prepare for a natural disaster because they’re young enough to learn and old enough to remember,” said Watkins. Hannah wrote and illustrated her first book, Heidi and the Tsunami, story about a young girl who had to go to an evacuation center with her family after a tsunami warning.
With the help form the local Office of Emergency Management and corporate sponsors such as Agrium, Hannah’s book was published and distributed to every kindergarten and pre-K student on the Kenai Peninsula. “A year ago my stories were just an idea, and now thanks to the Caring For The Kenai program and the support of their sponsors and the community, I am sending my third book to the publishers this week,” Watkins to the Kenai Chamber of Commerce last week.
In May Hannah will travel to Washington D.C. where she will be presented with a Prudential Spirit of Community Award silver medallion and a check for $1,000 cash. She will also be a judge at this year’s CFK oral presentations April 21st at the Kenai High School Little Theatre.
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