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Triadelphia fifth-graders win patriotic Comcast competition


Andrew Pontius and Jarrett Starbuck, fifth-graders at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School, are the Howard County winners of the Comcast Public Service Announcement Contest, "What Does the Star-Spangled Banner Mean to Me?"

The contest was sponsored by the Star-Spangled Banner Education Committee of Maryland, a group of organizations working to teach schoolchildren about the American flag.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History owns the flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1814 during the Battle of Baltimore and inspired Francis Scott Key to write a poem that became the national anthem.

Andrew and Jarrett created a four-celled storyboard that Comcast will turn into a public service announcement.

"They wrote a little paragraph about the what the Star-Spangled Banner meant to them," said Gifted and Talented resource teacher Carol Brzezinski, who advised the boys on the project.

They had to condense their message for the 30-second spot into four frames, so Andrew and Jarrett chose four words that summed up what they wanted to say: perseverance, liberty, freedom and equality.

"And then [in] the last frame, they have Fort McHenry, which they drew on the computer, and they have the flag flying proudly and they said, 'Torn and tattered yet brave and true, what does the Star-Spangled Banner mean to you?' " Brzezinski said.

Comcast will animate the drawings; in the next few months, the boys will record the voice-overs. The spot will air in the Howard County Comcast area.

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