Winning a national book writing contest before you turn 10 is pretty cool. Having that book published by Scholastic…even cooler. Receiving a congratulatory message – in chimpanzee – from world-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall? That’s off-the-charts cool.
And that’s exactly what happened to a group of lucky fourth graders from Mendon Center Elementary School in Pittsford, N.Y.
The students penned the grand prize winning entry in Scholastic Book Fairs’ annual Kids Are Authors contest, and to celebrate, Scholastic representatives presented the young writers and illustrators with commemorative medals and copies of their newly published book, Through Jane’s Eyes: Lessons Learned from Dr. Jane Goodall. The book includes illustrations and examples from the celebrated conservationist’s work in hopes of inspiring others to make a difference in the world.
To help commemorate their achievement, Dr. Goodall sent a special congratulatory video message, replete with a pitch-perfect imitation of an official chimpanzee greeting. Afterward, the newly published authors signed copies of their books for friends, family, and other fans. It was an afternoon these students are sure to remember proudly for the rest of their lives.
Since its inception in 1986, the Kids Are Authors program has recognized the writing talents of thousands of aspiring writers from kindergarten to eighth grade.
Under the guidance of a project coordinator, students work in teams of three or more to create their very own original book and illustrations. Scholastic publishes the best fiction and non-fiction entry and distributes them at our Book Fairs nationwide. Now in its 30th and final year, the Kids Are Authors program has helped encourage thousands of young people to write and illustrate books. Every student who participates in the creative process of writing and illustrating a book gains useful real-life skills that will benefit them later in life, and, ultimately, that makes them all winners.
The deadline for this year’s Kids Are Authors contest is March 15, 2016.
- Teryl McLane, Scholastic Book Fairs