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Around the world in two days

This year, U.S. Jones Elementary School is taking students around the world in two days.

Wednesday morning hundreds of students set up their displays in the gymnasium for the school’s geography fair and today, six local residents will determine the winners.

“We have some kind of fair every year,” third-grade teacher Mary Stuedeman said, “We usually just switch it up.”

“This year, a letter was sent home requesting the students to keep their vacations in mind and to bring back memorabilia,” third-grade teacher Johnnie W. Scott said.

This year, Stuedeman said the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade competitors were “extremely creative” with their informational displays of world countries and U.S. states.

“Some of the students did their projects on places they’ve traveled to,” Stuedeman said, “and some are just places the students are interested in.”

“But they all added a lot of authentic items to their projects,” Scott said as she looked around at the vivid 3-D boards.

Students used everything from books, Mexican hats and Mardi Gras beads and masks, to Cornflakes cereal pieces, dolls and clothes to add character to their projects.

“Many of the fourth graders did their projects on Louisiana and Hurricane Katrina,” Scott said.

“And then there’re some about Florida and a few on Iraq,” Stuedeman added. “I just can’t believe the props.”

The projects will be judged on creativity, color, and the amount of information given, among a list of additional criteria.

“The list is general and was created a while ago,” Scott said, “but they will be judged on a lot.”

The judges will choose a first-, second- and third-place winner from each grade. They will also name an overall winner, among numerous honorable mentions.

Winners will receive trophies and ribbons will be given to honorable mention contestants.

Even though some students will go home with trophies and others won’t, Scott and Stuedeman think this year’s projects were all outstanding and showed tremendous efforts on behalf of the students.

“We think all the projects are winners,” Stuedeman said.