Ag award helps student with autism

By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

Photo courtesy of Karen Parker Amber Parker reads her award-winning essay to her class at Holt Crossing.
Photo courtesy of Karen Parker
Amber Parker reads her award-winning essay to her class at Holt Crossing.

When Amber Parker went to the Ohio State Fair this summer, she never dreamed it would net her a $500 scholarship.

The Holt Crossing Intermediate School fifth grader was one of four in the state to win the scholarship from the Ohio State Fair Agriculture Department and Expo Center.

Sponsored by the Ohio State Fair and Expo Center, the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Farm Bureau, exiting fourth graders from Ohio are provided with the opportunity to learn about agriculture through the Agriculture is Cool program at the state fair. Students submit an essay for a chance at a $500 scholarship.

Karen Parker, Amber’s mother, said the family took a trip to the state fair and they went into the Expo Center, where there were plenty of farm animals featured. Amber, who has a love of animals and creative writing, saw there was a contest and decided to go for it.

Amber’s essay, titled ‘Ag is Cool,’ listed cows, poultry and swine as children of agriculture.
Amber called her award-winning essay a funny poem. She read her essay to her class when she was presented the award at school on Oct. 27.

This award was especially meaningful for the Parker family because Amber has an autism spectrum disorder.

“When Amber was younger, she was so anxious about everything,” said Karen. “To see her sit down, write an essay and get all this attention is just beautiful.”

Amber said her school friends were congratulating her and she was excited to get the award.

“It felt wonderful,” said Amber.

Amber took her $500 check and deposited it into her college education fund.

She also plans to pursue creative writing in her future.

“She is so creative in her thoughts,” said Karen. “It is just exciting to watch her blossom into this creative writer.”

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