CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Hundreds of student authors were honored by the West Virginia Department of Education Friday as part of the 27th Annual Young Writers Celebration.
This statewide competition recognizes and encourages writing excellence by West Virginia’s best and brightest students – from kindergartners to high school seniors.
“Writing is one of the most important skills for academic and professional success,” West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine said. “As we prepare students for the 21st century, clear communication through writing is more important than ever for future success.”
The 2010 first-place winners in each of six age categories appeared on stage at the University of Charleston and read from their works. They are Grades 1-2, Madison Brown, Hacker Valley School, Webster County; Grades 3-4, Taylor Griffith, Madison Elementary, Boone; Grades 5-6, Maggie Lohmann, Bridgeport Middle, Harrison; Grades 7-8, Hannah Smith, Buffalo Middle, Wayne; Grades 9-10, Celesta Adams, Meadow Bridge High, Fayette; and Grades 11-12, Ryan Caleb, Williamson High, Mingo.
Musician and songwriter Ron Sowell from West Virginia Public Radio’s “Mountain Stage” delivered the keynote address. The day’s events also included the awarding of a $750 Barbara W. Walters Scholarship to a high school senior as well as recognition of county and state winners. Twenty digital cameras also were given away.
Workshops were conducted by Sowell and fellow writers Colleen Anderson, Cheryl Ware and Anna Smucker. About 800 parents, teachers and students were in attendance.
The Young Writers Contest is sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Writing Project, which is part of the effort to improve writing in America. Through its professional development model, the Writing Project builds the leadership, programs and research needed for teachers to help their students become successful writers and learners.
For more information, contact Terry L. Reale, English/language arts coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, at (304) 558-5325, extension 53274, or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.
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