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Maryland Recognizes Letters About Literature Winners

LAL_POSTER.298133015_std2011 Awards Ceremony at the Enoch Pratt Free Library April 16

(Baltimore, MD) Have you ever, after reading a book, wanted to tell the author how his or her words changed your life? About 100 students will be honored as state finalists April 16th during the CityLit Festival at the Enoch Pratt Public Library for their entries into the state Letters About Literature contest. The Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher Award, honoring a Maryland teacher who works to promote reading by employing creative teaching methods, will also be presented during the awards ceremony in April.

Letters About Literature (LAL) is a state and national writing contest that encourages young readers in grades 4 to 12 to respond to an author through a letter expressing how that author and book changed their worldview and themselves. A signature program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, Letters About Literature is implemented at the state level by the Maryland Center for the Book at the Maryland Humanities Council. This year, just under 70,000 students competed nationwide, with 2,357 of them hailing from Maryland. First-place winners on the state level receive a Target gift card and cash award, and advance to the national competition in early April.

The contest promotes reading and writing, inspires creativity, encourages life-long readers and develops critical reading and writing skills that students need to be successful later in life. Judges select top essayists on three levels: level I for young readers in grades 4 through 6; level II for grade 7 and 8 readers, and level III, for readers in grades 9 through 12. A panel of judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress selects six national winners (two per competition level) and 12 national runners-up (four per competition level). National winners also receive an additional Target gift card and also a Reading Promotion Grant of $10,000 for their school or community library. The 12 national runners-up will win a Target gift card, plus a Reading Promotion Grant of $1,000 for their school or community library.

First Place Melina George, Notre Dame Preparatory School, Towson, MD
Letter to Beverly Cleary, Ramona the Pest Shelby Diehl, New Midway Elementary School, Keymar, MD
Letter to Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning Level 2 (Grades 7 & 8)
First Place Jordan Cook, Patterson Mill Middle School, Bel Air, MD
Second Place
Letter to Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief Reed Webber, Individual Entry, Annapolis, MD
Letter to Neal Shusterman, Unwind Level 3 (Grades 9 -12)
First Place Rebecca Thayer, Bishop Walsh School, Cumberland MD
Second Place
Letter to Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis Angela George, Dulaney High School, Timonium, MD
Second Place Letter to Albert Camus, The Stranger

The Awards ceremony will take place at the CityLit Festival, held Saturday April 16 at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Wheeler Auditorium from 11am – 12:15 pm. To view a complete list of Maryland state finalists, visit www.mdhc.org. For information on the national program, visit www.lettersaboutliterature.org.

Letters About Literature Award Ceremony
April 16 | 11am – 12:15pm Enoch Pratt Free Library 400 West Cathedral Street, Baltimore
State student finalists and winners and the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher Award recipient are honored during the CityLit Festival for the national Letters About Literature competition. Find out more at www.mdhc.org.

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