There are two rounds of judges, with only the top ten moving to the final round. The top three receive a certificate, ribbon, journal, and pencil to encourage further reading and writing. Family and friends are invited to hear the the first place entries read aloud.
I cannot choose one aspect of this outreach over the other. Some of my favorites are the show of teacher and family support during the award ceremony. Another is the look of accomplishment and excitement on the children's faces when they receive their award. As if these aren't enough, the words expressed by the children and adults in the entries tell tales of hope, loss, and humor.
I am proud to have chaired this annual event again this year. Next year will be our 25th anniversary. The topic will be revealed in September 2012.
Due to the age of the children, I have not included their names and photographs. I wish you could see the ear to ear smiles and sense of accomplisment on their faces. Look at the adults, magnify this times ten for the children who won. It was a great night.
The bottom photograph is of Amy Quonce, she won third in the adult division. Not to mention, she is a member of my writer's group.
1st - Martie Talley
2nd - Sandra Harmon
3rd - Amy Quonce