Letters About Literature Reading-Writing Program Alabama 2012 Winners Announced

State winners in the Letters About Literature, a national reading and writing program, were recognized with a reception and awards ceremony Saturday, April 7, in Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library on the campus of The University of Alabama.

The event was sponsored by the Alabama Center for the Book.

The program asks young people in grades 4 through 12 to write to an author (living or dead) about how his or her book affected their lives.

Children’s author, Kerry Madden, was the guest speaker.  Madden applauded and encouraged the students by sharing her life story and explained how everyone has something to write about.

Six hundred students from across the state of Alabama participated in this year’s contest and wrote to authors as diverse as Jeff Kinney author of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid:  Cabin Fever”; S. E. Hinton author of “The Outsiders”; and Gustave Flaubert author of “Madame Bovary.”

Sixty-four students were selected as state semi-finalists and were invited along with their families and teachers to the awards ceremony.  Each semi-finalist received a certificate.

The top letters in each competition level were announced:  Level 1 (grades 4-6), Level 2 (grades 7-8) and Level 3 (grades 9-12).  First place winners received a $50 Target GiftCard, $100 from the Alabama Center for the Book and a journal.  Second, third and honorable mention winners received cash awards from the Center and journals.

The three first place winners will now advance to the national competition sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, presented in partnership with Target. Winners will be announced later this month.

Two national winners in each competition level will receive a $500 Target GiftCard and will designate a favorite library that he or she wishes to receive a $10,000 grant from Target.

The four national honors recipients from each competition level designate a library to receive a $1,000 Target grant; those students each receive a $50 Target GiftCard.

Madden is the author of the Smoky Mountain Trilogy:  Gentle’s Holler, Louisiana Song and Jessie’s MountainGentle’s Holler received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly and was a New York and Chicago Public Library Pick.  Her picture book about Charlie Lucas and Kathryn Tucker Windham, Nothing Fancy About Charlie & Kathryn, will be published next year with her daughter, Lucy, illustrating the text.

The Alabama Center for the Book (http://alabamacenterforthebook.lib.ua.eu) works with many organizations, individuals and agencies to promote reading, literacy, publishing, and other book-related activities. The Alabama Center for the Book is the Alabama Affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and is housed in the University Libraries at the University of Alabama. The Center is located at 711 Capstone Drive, Tuscaloosa, AL, in the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, room 201.

Target sponsors Letters About Literature as part of its commitment to supporting education and early childhood reading.  Target recognizes the integral role that reading plays in shaping a child’s future, because reading is the foundation for lifelong learning and success.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion.  A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally.  The Center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival.  It also oversees the Library’s Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.

Letters About Literature winners 2012



Teacher Cita Smith and speaker Kerry Madden




Letters About Literature crowd





The 2012 Alabama winners included:

Level 1 (Grades 4-6)

First Place                         Caleb Clarke, Spanish Fort Middle School

Second Place                    Hannah Soloff, The Montgomery Academy

Third Place                       Francie Hill, The Montgomery Academy

Honorable Mention      Julia Coccaro, Spanish Fort Middle School

Level 2 (Grades 7-8)

First Place                         Chenna Christoffer, Tuscaloosa Academy

Second Place                     Rupa Palanki, Phillips Preparatory School (individual             entry)

Third Place                        Mario Madrigal, Oxford Middle School

Level 3 (Grades 9-12)

First Place                          Claudia Mitchell, Randolph School

Second Place                    Sara Jane Kachelman, Florence High School

Third Place                       Claire Oldfather, Providence Classical School

The 2012 Alabama semi-finalists included:

Level 1

Shelby Lloyd                    Advent Episcopal School

Sophia Higgs                   Advent Episcopal School

Anthony Minopoli        Berry Middle School

Adnan Reddy                  Berry Middle School

Andrew Gedgoudas      Berry Middle School

Kristen Smith                  Berry Middle School

Tuba Khan                        Berry Middle School

Megan Seidel                    Highlands School

Anna Lisa Goodman      Highlands School

Ada Cohen                         Highlands School

Bisola Adediji                   The Montgomery Academy

Sujin Lee                            The Montgomery Academy

Tara Katz                           The Montgomery Academy

Catherine Updegraff      The Montgomery Academy

Mary Jane McConnell    The Montgomery Academy

Madelyn Clark                   Providence Classical School

Hannah James                  Spanish Fort Middle School

Lana Stringer                     Spanish Fort Middle School

Hunter Langham              Spanish Fort Middle School

Madison Fabber                Spanish Fort Middle School

Level 2

Raleigh Bruce               Advent Episcopal

Ellie Gorman                Advent Episcopal

Tomeka Frieson                        Advent Episcopal

Olivia Minor                 Advent Episcopal

Harper Johnson                        Baldwin Arts and Academics Magnet Middle School

Brittney Hudson                       Baldwin Arts and Academics Magnet Middle School

Kara Moncrief              Baldwin Arts and Academics Magnet Middle School

Zachary Fitzgerald         Baldwin Arts and Academics Magnet Middle School

Mary Frances Lembke   Highlands School

Lauren Curry                Oxford Middle School

Aidan Lambrecht          Providence Classical School

Mary Katherine Givhan Providence Classical School

Drew Lindley               Providence Classical School

Addison Harrison         Tuscaloosa Academy

Chelsea Alan                 Tuscaloosa Academy

William Henson                        Tuscaloosa Academy

Level 3

Isabella Janice Roland    individual entry

Gabrielle D’Arcy           Florence High School

Caroline Lentz              Florence High School

Hannah Wright             Florence High School

Teena Patel                   Florence High School

Kaitlin Moon                Pelham High School

Paige Knight                 Pelham High School

Stormy Womack                       Pelham High School

Ashley Brown               Pelham High School

Belle Griffin                 Pelham High School

Emily Rames                Pelham High School

Alexis Lang                   Pelham High School

Joshua Daniels             Providence Classical

Matthew McDavid         Providence Classical

Olivia Miller                 Providence Classical

Savannah Silver             Providence Classical

Faith Buckley                Providence Classical

Elizabeth Cummings     Providence Classical


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s