The Daily Oklahoman in the Metro/State News this morning got a few of the facts wrong concerning Letters About Literature and the ceremony to honor our winners, so to set things straight for the Center for the Books folks, here’s the actual press release:
2009-2010 Letters About Literature
Oklahoma Winners Announced
Have you ever read a book that really made an impact on your life? Perhaps you have strongly related to a particular character in a book. Students from across the state were invited to participate in Letters About Literature (LAL), a national writing contest requiring students to write a personal letter to an author describing how a book or character had made a difference in his or her life. Recently, nine Oklahoma students received notification that they had been selected as state winners in the competition.
The national competition is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Target. The state level competition also is sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Book and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.
“This year over 65,000 students competed in the national competition,” said Oklahoma Center for the Book Executive Director Connie Armstrong. “Oklahoma once again had students from public, private, and home schools participating. It’s amazing how honest these young people are in expressing their own personal circumstances.”
Judges for the Oklahoma Center for the Book selected the top three essayists in the state on each of the three levels of competition: Level I for children in grades fourth through sixth; Level II for grades seventh and eighth; and Level III for grades ninth through twelfth.
Level I winners are: First-place, Grace Barrett, Owasso 6th Grade Center Literature Department, Owasso, OK, for Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren; Second-place, Caleb Kirk, Owasso 6th Grade Center Literature Department, Owasso, OK, for Airman by Eoin Colfer; and Third-place, Hannah Cook, Rush Springs Middle School, Rush Springs, OK, for A Rose for Melinda by Lurlene McDaniel.
Level II winners are: First-place, Daniel Flores, homeschooled, Cushing, OK, for Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac; Second-place, Blake Graham, Duncan Middle School, Duncan, OK, for A War Torn Sky by L.M. Elliott; and Third-place, Connor Webb, Cyril Public School, Cyril, OK, for Beastly by Alex Flinn.
Level III winners are: First-place, Melissa J. Frye, Oklahoma Union High School, South Coffeyville, OK, for A Child Called It by David Pelzer; Second-place, Victoria Jones, Southmoore High School, Moore, OK, for Equus by Peter Shaffer; and Third-place, Sara Panther, Oklahoma Union High School, South Coffeyville, OK, for The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.
State winners will receive cash prizes and a $50 gift card from Target. The awards ceremony will be held in the Blue Room of the State Capitol on March 31, 2010, at 10:30 am to noon. Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins will serve as the event’s emcee.
“We are also inviting members of the state legislature from the winner’s home district, as well as their family members, friends, educators, and local home town news media,” said Armstrong. “This is a wonderful program, and a great opportunity to highlight some of Oklahoma’s best students.”
Moreover, state winners will advance to the national level judging. Judges for The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select six National Winners (two per level of competition), and twelve National Honorable Mention Winners (four per level of competition). The National Winners will receive a $500 Target gift card, plus each will win a $10,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant for their community or school library so that others can experience personal relationships with authors and the stories they tell. Additionally, the National Honorable Mention Winners will each receive a $100 Target GiftCard and a $1,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant for the community or school library of their choice.
For more information, contact Connie Armstrong at 405/522-3383 or carmstrong at oltn.odl.state.ok.us.
This is a great program, sponsored by Target, and supported through the Oklahoma Center for the Book. So if you want to see some very cool kids get awards for their reading and writing skills come by the State Capitol Blue Room on March 31st at 10:30 and applaud their accomplishments.