Students from Brattleboro, Killington and Williamstown traveled to the Vermont Statehouse on Friday to receive Vermont's first Letters About Literature awards. This is the 23rd year the Library of Congress has held the nationwide contest, but the first year Vermont has joined as a participating state.
The contest is open to students in fourth through 12th grade, broken down into three age categories. Students are tasked with reading a book, play or poem and writing a letter to the author about how the work changed their view of the world or themselves.
The letters are first judged by the Library of Congress, then sent to the states for a second round of judging. First-place winners on the state level are entered into the nationwide competition.
The Vermont students gathered in the Cedar Creek Room along with parents, teachers, contest judges and state officials. After opening remarks by Vermont Department of Libraries Youth Services Consultant Sharon Colvin, who organized the event, the small crowd was welcomed by State Librarian Martha Reid and Vermont Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe. The highlight of the ceremony came when the first- place winners read their entry letters.
Vermont's state winners are:
Level One, grades four through six
- First place – Nina Borzekowski, Killington
- Second place – Evan Joaquin, Killington
- Honorable mentions – Alex Martell and Taylor Blodorn, both of Killington
Level Two, grades seven and eight
- First place – Cearra O'Hern, Brattleboro
- Honorable mention – Katrina Tao, Brattleboro
Level Three, grades nine through 12
- First place – Mikaya Potvin, Williamstown
- Honorable mentions – Olivia Howe, Brattleboro, and Lauren Michelle Covey, Williamstown
National winners at each competition level receive a $1,000 cash award.
Editorial note: Amy Kolb Noyes served as a state-level judge for the Level Two entires in this competition.