SPARTA-Flights of fancy set on carefully crafted sentences filled the Sparta Public Library last week, when children from throughout the county took to a podium to read their personal poems. The artistic reading was part of the 16th annual poetry contest sponsored by the Sparta Library. The event, which is open to all county students in grade 6 through 8, took place Tuesday, April 27. During the awards ceremony, each child had a chance to read his poem to the crowded room filled with their peers and parents. Each participant received a gift book, a copy of the poem and an award certificate. The poems reflected the students' feelings in a variety of subjects, from war and freedom, to changing relationships, to the pain of losing a loved one. "The children really did a great job. They put a lot into this contest and it has been quite impressive to receive such quality work," said Cynhina Banner, children's coordinator at Sparta Public Library and one of the organizers of the event. In January the library sent 316 letters to superintendents, principals and teachers to notify students of the contest. There were a total of 792 poems from all three grades entered into the contest. Entries were judged by three college professors. First-place for the eighth-grade went to Adam Mengnon from Kittatinny Regional High School for his poem "Tsunami." Second-place went to Sonya Maizell, also of Kittatinny Regional High School,for her work titled "Phillis Wheatley." Amy Bettano from the Sparta Middle School won third-place for her entry "The Cat." Josh Steele from Reverend Brown Memorial School won first-place in the seventh-grade level for his poem "The Fox." Second-place was Munroe Graham from Sussex Middle School for "Friends." Third-place went to Ashley Vogt from Glen Meadow Middle School for her entry "When They Leave." The first-place winner from the sixth-grade went to Ruth Mayegayeg from Hopatcong Middle School with the "The Day She Died." Second-place went to Ally Tanzola from the Sparta Middle School for her poem titled "The Day the World Stopped Turning," and third-place went to April Nicholson from the Hopatcong Middle School for "Slipping." "I enjoy writing poetry and often do so," said Mayegayeg after capturing her first-place win for her grade. "I usually write about happy things, but then this idea popped into my head and I figured it was something different for me, so I decided to try it." The Best Words in the Best Order Eight Grade First Place Adam Mengnon Kittatiny Regional High - Tsunami Second Place Sonya Maizell Kittatiny High School - Phillis Wheatley Third Place Amy Bettano Sparta Middle School - The Cat Honorable Mention Kelly Lockett - Sparta Middle School Rachel Horan - Reverend Brown Stephanie Morris - Sparta Middle School. Seventh Grade First Place Josh Steele Reverend Brown - The Fox Second Place Munroe Graham Sussex Middle School - Friends Third Place Ashley Vogt - Glen Meadow - When They Leave Honorable Mention Luciano Calvaruso - Reverend Brown Kristen Fitzpatrick - Hopatcong School Dana Carroll - Glen Meadow School Sixth Grade First Place Ruth Mayegayeg Hopatcong School - The Day She Died Second Place Ally Tanzola Sparta Middle School - The Day the World Stopped Turning Third Place April Nicholson Hopatcong Middle School n Slipping Honorable Mention Patrick Pait - Sparta Middle School Katherine Evans - Sparta Middle School Kate vanVoorst - Sparta Middle School Kelly Wilson - Sparta Middle School Drew Mastorelli - Hopatcong School Jared Semon - Hopatcong School Valerie Taylor - Hopatcong School Cat Ragusa - Hopatcong School Ashley Witzl - Byram Intermediate Selena Noel - Reverend Brown Nina Stachura - Stillwater School Gina Orlando - Stillwater School Tori Stachura - Stillwater School Tim Connell - Sparta Middle School Amy Vendola - Sparta Middle School Brian Jeffrey Zinderman - Sparta School Sonia Sanghui - Sparta Middle School.