Pelham Ridge student creates winning Fire Prevention slogan

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Ella Wellborn got an unusual start to her morning on March 16, when she got to ride to school in one of Pelham Fire Department’s firetrucks.

Wellborn got to have this experience after creating the slogan “If You Smell Smoke, It’s No Joke,” for a contest sponsored by PFD for Fire Prevention Week.

According to Pelham Ridge Elementary School Principal Lisa Baxter, students across the school were asked to create a poster with a slogan that helped to emphasize the importance of fire prevention.

“The fire department came to us and said that they needed a new slogan for their yearly contest,” Baxter said. “My art teacher created the poster contest and we picked winners for each grade level.”

Through the contest they wanted to emphasize knowledge of fire safety, which was expressed in a number of ways, especially with Wellborn’s winning poster.

“The contest was left open to the children’s imagination on how to address the topic,” Baxter said. “Her poster was very good. She was very intentional with the drawing and the slogan. Her poster had rooms that would show how a fire would affect every room in the house.”

Wellborn’s hard work in the contest propelled her to win, and afforded her the opportunity to ride in one of the firetrucks and sound the lights and sirens. The truck pulled up to the front of her schools where she was greeted by her classmates and teachers who were excited for her.

The school wanted to sponsor this contest to help instill the importance of fire prevention in younger children. The contest was an opportunity for each student to express themselves creatively while also learning valuable lessons that they can carry with them for their whole lives.

As an additional surprise Wellborn’s slogan was printed on pencils and given out so that people could be consistently reminded.

“She was very excited. Ella is a naturally gifted child academically, and she is also gifted in her art and she was excited to be able to provide a service,” Baxter said. “I also just want to highlight her class was so excited for her. It was just a community within the classroom because of the efforts.”