By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jan 09, 2015 at 4:36 PM

Annabelle Tornio, a third grade student from Edgewood Elementary in Greenfield, has been named as a top 10 finalist in the 3rd-5th grade section of Scotties Trees Rock Video Contest. The Grand Prize winner in this division will receive $10,000 for the school to use towards a sustainable project, such as tree plantings, outdoor classrooms, playgrounds, athletic fields, gardens and greenhouses. 

All kids who entered the contest were required to create a video up to three minutes long on the importance of trees to themselves, their school and their community. Students were encouraged to be as creative as possible whether they created a poem, a speech, a song or even a dance.

Entries from around the country were narrowed down to the 10 best in each grade section based on the most compelling projects that are relative to not only creativity, but also the clarity of the message and if it's relative to theme. 

As for Annabelle, she created a video similar to the YouTube sensation Kid President, whom she's quite the fan of. In Kid President's videos, such as "20 Things We Should Say More Often" or "How To Change The World," the young boy creates lists and infuses humor. 

For her video, Annabelle wanted to create her own list of why trees are good. 

"She loves to journal, so she started making notes in her latest journal, listing out all the reasons," said Stacy Tornio, Annabelle's mother. "She came up with nearly all the reasons herself. She did solicit help from the family for a couple of them."

According to Stacy, Annabelle has always grown up with a strong appreciation for trees and her environment. When asked why Annabelle chose to enter the contest, Stacy said that their school is undergoing a major 'Replace Our Playground' initiative because the school has outdated equipment onsite that will soon be removed.

"We have been putting a lot of time and effort into raising money for this Playground Fund and getting the kids excited about helping out," Stacy stated in a press release. "When we saw the Trees Rock contest, we knew it was a perfect fit." 

They knew that the video had to be outside and with a tree, of course, so they put Annabelle's top 10 reasons on paper and took them outside for her to talk about it. They made sure to add some fun, humor and personality. 

"The video itself was pretty easy to make, and the whole family really got involved," Stacy said. "The only challenge we had was that we waited to shoot the video until the last day of the video contest, and it was getting dark as we were finishing it up. You can even see it get progressively darker as Annabelle gives the reasons why trees are cool. Her dad even had to hold up a flashlight on the last one so it wouldn't be too dark!"

Annabelle and her family has set up a website for voting. Once voting on videos start, they'll post the link on the site.

The contest winners will be chosen by voters across the country, who can watch the top videos and vote for their favorite from Jan. 12 through Feb. 6 on the contest's website. The winners in both categories will be announced on Feb. 15 with celebration events following in the spring. 

"She's just thrilled to be able to help the school," Stacy said. "Now we just need to rally votes."