East Holmes eighth-graders make room for a favorite activity

East Holmes eighth-graders make room for a favorite activity

The overall winner of the East Holmes eighth-grade dream bedroom contest was Kaylee Miller of Mount Hope, left. Receiving the runner-up award was Elle Coblentz of Chestnut Ridge while Abigail Yoder of Mount Hope received the third-place award.


During the annual mini-bedroom contest in the East Holmes schools of Wise, Chestnut Ridge and Mount Hope, girls in seventh and eighth grade put their design flair and creativity to work to come up with a bedroom design in miniature form.

With dozens of detailed and colorful mini-bedrooms providing the highlight, the bedroom tradition, which has gone on for approaching 50 year now, continues to grow in popularity.

The East Holmes consumer science mini-bedroom, quilt and poster contests brought middle school girls from Chestnut Ridge, Mt. Hope and Charm together on Oct. 24 at Chestnut Ridge School, where their projects were put before the judges.

The eighth-grade students had the opportunity to build the dream bedrooms while the seventh-grade students were to design a “My Pyramid” or “My Plate” nutrition poster.

Judges included Carol Weaver, Pat Lawrence, Brenda Yoder and Tanya Troyer, and the judges again got to see the creative side of all of the seventh- and eighth-grade girls.

Once completed and judged, the winners received gift certificates from Berlin Fabrics, and Keim Lumber donated prizes to each of the girls. The winning bedrooms also were on display at Keim Lumber Nov. 1-8, and the posters will be on display at Berlin Fabrics until Nov. 11.

“This is probably the most talked-about event we will have all year,” said Janna Mast, the East Holmes consumer science teacher who heads up the contest. “The girls start talking about this contest from the beginning of the year, and it is always fun to watch the seventh-grade girls after the contest is over. They take pictures and soak in a lot of what they are seeing from the eighth-grade girls’ boxes. They get ideas, and they do a lot of reading and a lot of searching on the internet to find unique ideas and to see what is popular in design for the year. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to use their imaginations, and they continue to make it extremely hard for the judges to come up with the winners.”

As has been the case for the contest for a number of years, the girls design the dream bedrooms, create dimensions and convey their ideas to an eighth-grade boy, who then builds the box in shop class.

“We set it up like a customer/employer-type relationship,” Mast said. “That gives the boys a sense of working with a customer and making sure their customer is happy. Plus it gives the girls a chance to design and create and then have to convey what they want to a builder.”

The girls also designed a piece of furniture for the boys, and the boys create that for them as well.

The overall winner of the dream bedroom contest was Kaylee Miller of Mount Hope. Receiving the runner-up award was Elle Coblentz of Chestnut Ridge while Abigail Yoder of Mount Hope received the third-place award.

At each individual school, first, second and third place and honorable mention were awarded. At Mount Hope, that was Kaylee Miller, Jenna Weaver, Abigail Yoder and Elizabeth Keim, respectively. At Wise, the top awards went to Ellie Nadine Coblentz, Kara Miller, Maribeth Miller and Hannah Mast. At Chestnut Ridge, the top spots belonged to Elle Coblentz, Sarah Yoder, Lilly Miller and Alayna Yoder.

The seventh-grade “My Plate” poster overall winner was Lori Miller of Mount Hope while second place went to Chestnut Ridge’s Emily Troyer and third place to Katie Yoder of Wise.

Individually at each school, first, second and third and honorable mention at Mount Hope went to Lori Miller, Hannah Kline, Regina Miller and Rachel Yoder, respectively. The awards to Wise belonged to Katie Yoder, Alayana Miller, Lanita Raber and Cheryl Raber. At Chestnut Ridge, the top honors went in order to Emily Troyer, Elaine Yoder, Alivia Miller and Bethany Miller.

The eighth-grade quilt winner was Sharon Yoder of Wise.

In addition to the contest, each year another goal is to bring in a speaker who is informative, interesting and educational.

Mast said with e-bikes becoming such a hot-button topic and the rules of safety on the roadways becoming more critical, it seemed appropriate to bring in someone who could talk about road safety.

Holmes County Sheriff Joe Mullet came to the school, and as the judges did their thing behind the curtain in the gymnasium, Mullet addressed the girls. Mast also invited the seventh- and eighth-grade boys to hear the message because she felt it was so important.

“I really wanted them to hear firsthand some of the rules and dangers of being on the roads and the right way to obey all of the traffic laws and safety rules,” Mast said. “We definitely wanted the boys to hear this message too. I try to pick a topic that is relevant and has plenty of meaning to all of the kids.”

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