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District Students Write Writers

Essay Contest Promotes Reading and Reflection

While it may seem strange for a student to write a letter to Anne Frank, at the DC Public Library it's rewarded.  This Saturday, eight students will be honored at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library as winners in the 2012 Letters About Literature writing contest. 

Sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the DC Public Library, and Target, the Letters About Literature contest challenges students to write a letter to an author discussing how that author’s book changed their world view.  The essays were judged in three groups: level one for grades 4-6; level two for grades 7-8; and level three for grades 9-12.

“When a student tells an author about how a book impacted their way of thinking, they will see the value and fun of reading,” said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian for the District of Columbia.  “Instead of being an assignment, reading becomes a way for students to discover themselves.  Encouraging this exploration is one of the most important ways that the library promotes literacy.”

Middle school student Daphne Wilhelm-Demakas wrote Anne Frank asking, "What if you had grown up like a normal child? What if all your life you could have walked outside, finished school, made friends, gotten a job, and been that thing that people call normal?” Daphne’s letter goes on to talk about what she learned about her life from “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

This year, 59 students from 15 schools participated in the contest. Winning students received Target gift cards and Amazon.com.

This Year’s Winners

Level 1
1st Place – Tori Griffin
2nd Place – Elizabeth Wells
3rd Place – Claire Hodges

Level 2
1st Place – Daphne Wilhem-Demekas
2nd Place – Domonic Haire
3rd Place – Emilie Kerstens

Level 3
1st Place – Alexandra Richard- son
2nd Place – Maya Wesby

About Letters About Literature

About The Center for the Book
The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading.  The DC Public Library is the District of Columbia’s state center for the book. For information about its activities and national reading promotion networks, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook.

About Target
Target Stores, along with its parent company Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), gives back more than $2 million a week to its local communities through grants and special programs. Since opening its first store in 1962, Target has partnered with nonprofit organizations, guests and team members to help meet community needs.