The Department of Planning and Natural Resources Division of Libraries – Archives and Museums through the Virgin Islands Center for the Book has announced the V.I. Letters About Literature student winners for 2010. Letters About Literature is an annual national reading and writing promotion program sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, presented in partnership with Target and affiliate state Centers for the Book.
Students wrote a personal letter to an author explaining how that author’s work changed their way of thinking about the world or themselves. There were three competition levels: Level I for grades 4 through 6; Level II for grades 7 and 8, and Level III, grades 9 – 12. The first place winning entries on each level were forwarded to the national level judging.
Locally, the first place winners will receive a cash award of $100, a $50 Target gift card, a reader’s book journal and a certificate of appreciation. The 2nd and 3rd runners up, on each level, will receive a cash award of $50, a reader’s book journal and certificate of appreciation. The awards program will be held mid-May at the Florence Williams Public Library in Christiansted.
1st Place Winners:
Level I (grades 4-6) — Obasi D.E. Luke, Ricardo Richards Elementary School sixth grader, won first place on Level 1 for his letter to J.K. Rowlings, author of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Level II (grades 7 and 8) — Catherine Phelan, VI Montessori and International Academy eighth grader, won first place on Level II for her letter to Ann Brashares, author of Girls In Pants: The Third Summer of Sisterhood.
Level III (grades 9-12) — Kristina Chardon, St. Joseph High School senior, won first place on Level III for her letter to Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of Butterflies.
2nd Place Runners Up:
Level I (grades 4-6) — Chelsea Valery, Ricardo Richards Elementary School fourth grader, won second place on Level I for her letter to Candy Dawson Boyd, author of Circle of Gold.
Level II (grades 7 and 8)– JahCira Hodge, VI Montessori and International Academy, seventh grader won second place on Level II for her letter to S.E. Hinton, author of The Outsiders.
Level III (grades 9-12) — Rochella Davis, St. Joseph High School senior, won second place on Level III for her letter to Maya Angelou, Ph.D., author of I know Why The Caged Bird Sings.
3rd Place Runners Up:
Level I (grades 4-6) – Shideya Parrilla, Ricardo Richards Elementary School sixth grader, won third place on Level I for her letter to Judy Blume, author of Tiger Eyes.
Level II (grades 7 and 8) — Brianna Olive, VI Montessori and International Academy eighth grader, won third place on Level II for her letter to Richard Wright, author of Rite of Passage.
Level III (grades 9-12) — Angeles Cruz, St. Joseph High School senior, won third place on Level III for his letter to Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed.
Just under 70,000, adolescent and young adult readers nationwide in grades 4 through 12 participated in this year’s program. The letters were submitted to the Library of Congress Center for the Book, went through two rounds of judging and then the semi-finalists letters were returned to the V.I. for territory-wide ranking by judges, which determined the territory’s winners. National winners will be announced this month.
For more information, visit the Letters About Literature Web site at www.lettersaboutliterature.org. For more information about the V.I. Letters About Literature program or the Virgin Islands Public Libraries, contact Ingrid Bough, territorial director, or visit the Web site at virginislandspubliclibraries.org