Weekly Reader Finds Student Scribes, Media Mavens of Tomorrow

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Winners of national student publishing contest win SMART Boards, trip to Washington, D.C., lunch with education reform advocate and former D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty

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The art of the written word is alive and well among today's youth—and not just in the form of text messages. Weekly Reader recently announced the winners of the 2011 Student Publishing Contest. The two budding wordsmiths and three outstanding student-produced publications will be honored at a special ceremony in June.

The prize-winning students, chosen by Weekly Reader editors for their lively writing and compelling stories, are Patrick Sullivan from Orlando, Florida, and Julia Kieserman from New York, New York.

Sullivan, a fifth-grader at East Lake Elementary School, was chosen for “Launching Into History,” a lively and entertaining essay about the NASA space shuttle program. Judges picked the piece for its strong research, fascinating facts, and personal connection—Patrick’s father is the chief engineer for the space shuttle launch program at the Kennedy Space Center.

Kieserman's "Injection of Identity" describes the eleventh-grader's experience taking growth hormone to increase her height. The student at The Spence School was praised by judges for her touchingly honest essay, which they said contained the perfect combination of humor and frankness.

This year's whole publication winners include two print newspapers from Florida—Wildcats' Word from Williams Elementary School in Gainesville, and J.Hop Times from St. Petersberg's John Hopkins Middle School. Judges also announced the winner of the contest’s first-ever online publication category—The Harbinger Online from Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas.

Chosen for their strong writing and reporting, high student interest, and excellent coverage of poignant issues like stereotypes, the print winners illustrated an amazing level of maturity and social connection. The winning online publication’s staff fully embraced its digital medium, incorporating late-breaking news articles, video reports, and even live Webcasts of school sporting events into its daily coverage.

The winners will be honored at Weekly Reader's Student Publishing Contest awards ceremony on June 7 at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C. The event, part of the Association of Educational Publishers' annual Content in Context Conference, will feature a keynote speech by Adrian Fenty, education reform advocate and former mayor of Washington, D.C.

Winners will receive round-trip transportation to the banquet courtesy of the contest's exclusive airline sponsor, Continental Airlines, and a free hotel stay courtesy of the Omni Shoreham. Each winner will also receive a $500 check (payable to the school or individual student) and a plaque. In addition, each publication winner’s school will be awarded a SMART Interactive Whiteboard System, including a SMART Board 685ix and SMART Response interactive response system, courtesy of SMART Technologies.

For more information on Weekly Reader's Student Publishing Contest or details about the luncheon, please visit http://www.AEPweb.org/awards/student.

Details of this year's winners follow:

INDIVIDUAL STUDENT WRITING
GRADES 3 TO 6
“Launching into History” by Patrick Sullivan
East Lake Elementary School
Orlando, Fla.

GRADES 7 TO 12
“Injection of Identity” by Julia Kieserman
The Spence School
New York, N.Y.

WHOLE PUBLICATION: PRINT
GRADES 3 TO 6
Wildcats’ Word
Williams Elementary School
Gainesville, Fla.

GRADES 7 TO 12
J.Hop Times
John Hopkins Middle School
St. Petersburg, Fla.

WHOLE PUBLICATION: ONLINE
The Harbinger Online
Shawnee Mission East
Prairie Village, Kansas

The Student Publishing Contest is sponsored by Weekly Reader, administered by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), and supported by SMART Technologies, Continental Airlines, and the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

About Weekly Reader: Weekly Reader has been creating cutting-edge, curriculum-rich supplemental materials since the debut of Current Events magazine in1902. The company’s unique digital products and 11 award-winning classroom magazines give teachers tools that help them achieve their goals while inspiring, informing, and engaging students. Weekly Reader materials reach more than 200,000 teachers and 6 million students from Pre-K to grade 12. In January 2010, the company introduced Weekly Reader Connect (http://www.wrconnect.com,) an online reading program for students in grades 1 through 6. WR Connect consists of interactive, whiteboard-ready multimedia news units that are presented in concert with a reading-comprehension framework, the Concepts of Comprehension©, that supports the teaching of key reading skills. Weekly Reader is part of the Reader's Digest Association, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.weeklyreader.com.

About AEP: The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) is a nonprofit organization that serves and advances the industry of supplemental educational publishing. The membership of AEP represents the breadth of educational content developers delivering progressive educational products in all media and for any educational setting.
AEP's thought leadership and market insight have created ground-breaking opportunities for its members to collaborate, network, and partner with each other as well as to acquire a voice in the development of government education policy. Founded in 1895, AEP now assists its members in navigating the global realities of educational publishing in the 21st Century. For more information, please visit http://www.AEPweb.org.

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