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Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) has announced 15 student winners in the 2017 Sixteen on Center Art & Writing Contest, held annually to promote the importance and value of a healthy environment to local youth. Students at Aquidneck Island schools were invited to enter artwork of their favorite local vistas, or written work in prose or poetry form describing the same.

“We are thrilled with the response to this year’s contest,” said Chuck Allott, Executive Director of ALT. “Over 300 entries from local students were submitted. There is incredible talent shown in both categories and we loved seeing representations of so many beautiful local viewscapes.”

Art winners in the kindergarten through grade four category are Gavin Rorstrom, first place (Melville School), Ava Wright, second place (Pell Elementary School), and Joseph Renfrow, third place (Pell Elementary School). Winners in the grade five through grade eight category are Emilie Martin, first place, (The Pennfield School), Jada Lynn Unger, second place, (Thompson Middle School), and Wendy Lopez, third place, (Thompson Middle School). Winners in the grade nine through grade twelve category are Katherine Wagner, first place, Lily McCarthy, second place, and Anna Katherine Murphy, third place, all of Rogers High School.

Writing winners in the kindergarten through grade four category are Bobby Conrad Colbert Muetterties, first place, Grace Vieau, second place, and Gwen Martin, third place, all of St. Michael’s Country Day School. Winners in the grade five through grade eight category are Lauren Flowers, first place, Kelly Siegal, second place, and Kate Martin, third place, all of The Pennfield School.

winning writing entry (by Lauren Flowers of The Pennfield School

Prizes will be awarded at the ALT Annual Meeting on February 1, 2018. First place winners will receive $250, second place winners $100, and third place winners $50. The schools of each first-place winner will receive checks for $500 to further the goal of educating students about the environment. “We are very grateful to Sixteen on Center, a design/build company, for their generosity and commitment to environmental education,” said Allott. “We also appreciate the support of local teachers, who promote the preservation of Aquidneck Island’s natural beauty to their students.”

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Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.