Think Expression 2005 Reading-Writing Contest

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T. Martin Ford recently published a children’s book, "The Falcon and the Whale". In the book Ford creates an allegorical tale, where two unlikely beings who, by peril and circumstance, come together to become a force for their mutual survival. The 2005 Think Expression Reading-Writing Contest has three competition levels: Level I for students in grades 4 through 12; Level II for grades 7 and 8, and Level III, grades 9-12. Students will write a personal letter to the author, explaining how his work affected their way of thinking about the characters, the world or themselves. There is no entry fee. The winning letter in each competition level will receive a cash award of $250, a personalized certificate of participation and their letter will be posted to the author’s website.

Think Expression and children’s author T. Martin Ford invites students in grades 4 through 12 to explore the writing of his book, "The Falcon and the Whale". Upon completion, write a personal letter to the author explaining how his work affected their way of thinking about the characters, the world or themselves.

Research has shown that children gain greater understanding of what they have read when they are given frequent opportunities to respond to what they’ve read, especially through writing. The writing response, in turn, helps to develop the students’ critical reading and thinking skills. And so the cycle goes—children, who read, write better; children, who write, read more.

“Our contest is a fun project for students,” said T. Martin Ford, author and advocate for education, literacy, and art. “We are striving to promote literacy and inspire reading and writing.”    

Students will read "The Falcon and the Whale" and make a connection between themselves and one of the characters or an event in the story. “Exploring why they respond the way they do to literature is a valuable lesson because it teaches them about themselves – their strengths as well as their weaknesses.”

All entries must be received and postmarked no later than April 15, 2005.

Entries will not be returned. Each entry must be accompanied by a signed and completed entry form. Entry forms are available at and Contest entries are limited to grades 4 through 12. Limit one entry per student.

Winning letters will be chosen by the author and published on his web site. The author will also send a thank-you note by snail mail.

"The Falcon and the Whale" can be ordered through For more information on the contest, please visit or, or email

About the Author:

Martin T. Ford is an advocate for art, education, and literacy. As director of the Adams 14 Education Foundation in Golden, Colorado, he regularly donates his paintings to fundraisers and auctions. His involvement with Colorado Business Council for the Arts Leadership and Jefferson County Leadership has been his training ground for success at Adams 14 Education Foundation. His love for travel has allowed him to visit Africa, Israel, Argentine, France, Alaska, and Canada. Ford attended the University of Denver; He is a resident of Golden, Colorado with his wife, Pam and seven children.

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