The awards ceremony featured a special dance performance by John Muir third graders.Photo: Mark Coplan

For 29 years, fourth and fifth graders from throughout the Berkeley Unified School District have expressed themselves through the annual Art, Poetry & Essay Contest sponsored by the Berkeley-based educational foundation In Dulci Jubilo, Inc.

On April 19, 2012, the winners of the 2012 Art, Poetry & Essay Contest were honored at an evening awards ceremony at John Muir Elementary School in Berkeley. Thirty winners, selected from 416 entries by volunteer judges, were recognized at the annual ceremony.

Joining in the celebration were families, teachers, principals and local dignitaries, including Senator Loni Hancock; Mayor Tom Bates; Sheila Jordan, Superintendent, Alameda County Office of Education; John Selawsky, President, Berkeley Board of Education; and William Huyett, Superintendent, Berkeley Unified School District.

During the event, first place winners in the poetry and essay categories read their work, and first place winners in art presented their work, all responding to this year’s theme “Welcoming Schools!” The awards ceremony also featured a special dance performance, choreographed to Dan Zanes’ “Welcome Table,” by John Muir third graders.

All thirty students were recognized on stage, and awarded with engraved medals and certificates of recognition.

“This event showcases the tremendous talent being cultivated in Berkeley’s public schools,” said Queen Graham, President, In Dulci Jubilo, Inc. “We were thrilled with the quality and diversity of the submissions we received from all 11 elementary schools in the district.”

In Dulci Jubilo, Inc. (Latin for “In Sweet Joy”) is a non-profit organization established in 1978 to enhance the quality of life in Berkeley, California. Its mission is to encourage, inspire, instruct, and help young people enrolled in Berkeley’s pre-schools, elementary, and secondary schools to develop, during their formative years, values beneficial to the community.

For more information about the Awards Ceremony or In Dulci Jubilo, Inc., please contact Elizabeth Meyer, Program Manager, In Dulci Jubilo, Inc., at 510-845-3499. Or visit In Dulci Jubilo.

View a gallery of photos taken at the In Dulci Jubilo awards ceremony.

Elizabeth Meyer is Program Manager of In Dulci Jubilo.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...