ISABELLA VARGAS OF
GATOR RUN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
NAMED WINNER IN JASON TAYLOR FOUNDATION’S
“BLU IS FOR APPLES” POETRY CONTEST
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HOFFMAN’S CHOCOLATES
Isabella Vargas, a third-grade student at Gator Run Elementary School in Weston, Fla., was recently named the Grand Prize Winner of the Jason Taylor Foundation’s Fifth Annual blu is For Apples Poetry Contest as part of its Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network and in partnership with Hoffman’s Chocolates.
Hundreds of youth representing four different Broward County elementary schools participated in this year’s contest. Students were challenged with writing a poem inspired by the prompt “What is my orchard like?” and guided through a virtual workshop led by a member of the Foundation’s bluapple Poetry staff.
Students were grouped into three different categories (K-1, 2-3, 4-5) as each school selected two winners per category to submit to the Jason Taylor Foundation. A panel of judges made up of officials from both the Foundation and Hoffman’s Chocolates chose a winner from each school, as well as an overall winner.
As Grand Prize Winner, Isabella will receive a Hoffman’s Chocolates Sweet Ride Party at her home for up to 30 guests. Additionally, she will be recognized during the Jason Taylor Foundation’s annual Louder Than A Bomb Florida poetry festival in March.
“We received so many wonderful submissions this year and it was truly refreshing to read how creative and descriptive these young students were with their poetry,” said Gaby Martinez, bluapple Poetry Programs Assistant and coordinator of the blu is For Apples Contest. “Asking elementary school children to reflect during a global pandemic was eye-opening and gave us great insight into the world through their eyes. Isabella’s piece about ‘FRUITVID-19’ was an unbelievably creative and poignant example of what our students are facing.”
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Jason Taylor Foundation and support for the blu is for apples initiative,” expressed Lois Marino, Director of Community Engagement for Hoffman’s Chocolates. “I am truly impressed by the level of creativity the students have shown throughout this program. We look forward to bringing the Hoffman’s Sweet Ride experience to Isabella and her closest friends.”
Each school winner will receive a congratulatory certificate and a custom caramel apple from Hoffman’s Chocolates. The chocolatier will also provide each category winner and their classmates with a free scoop of ice cream.
About the Jason Taylor Foundation
In July 2004, Miami Dolphins legendary Defensive End and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jason Taylor, established the Jason Taylor Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization. The Foundation’s mission is to support and create programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need by focusing on improved health care, education and quality of life.
Since opening its doors, the Jason Taylor Foundation has impacted tens of thousands of children through innovative programming including The Jason Taylor Reading Room, Cool Gear for the School Year, the Jason Taylor Children’s Learning Center, Jason Taylor Scholars and the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network, among others. For more information on the Jason Taylor Foundation, please visit the organization’s website at visit the organization’s website at www.JasonTaylorFoundation.org or follow on social media sites including Facebook or Twitter and Instagram: @jtfoundation99.
About Hoffman’s Chocolates
Headquartered in Greenacres, Florida, Hoffman’s Chocolates is a manufacturer of gourmet chocolates, with eight retail locations throughout South Florida, and mobile food truck, The Sweet Ride. The tradition of legendary chocolates began over 40 years ago in a small chocolate shop in Lake Worth with a commitment to use the finest and freshest ingredients from around the world. The Hoffman’s Chocolates Factory in Greenacres is a popular tourist destination where guests from all over the world are greeted by the aroma of slow-simmering chocolate and caramel and watch the art of candy making first hand at its observation windows. The company is notable for its elaborate December holiday displays, including the Hoffman’s Winter Wonderland, and products such as gift baskets and chocolate covered pretzels.
Hoffman’s Chocolates product lines include over 70 varieties of confections (all hand made using time honored traditions of candy making). Hoffman’s Chocolates are available via its retail store locations, thru online distribution channels and by direct shipping throughout the U.S. It has been a favorite local brand for residents throughout Florida. For more information, please visit www.Hoffmans.com.