Kathryn Williams, a 12th grade student at Beloit Jr.-Sr. High School, Kaylee Dale, a fifth grade student at Lakin Middle School, and Cicely Krebill, an eighth grade student at Indian Hills Middle School, Fairway, received top honors in this year’s Kansas Letters About Literature reading and writing initiative.
The winners will be recognized this week in a special meeting with Governor Mark Parkinson.
Judges recommended Williams’s letter to Chris Crutcher, author of Chinese Handcuffs, as the first place winner in Level 3 competition for readers in grades 9-12. Krebill’s letter to Frank DeFord, author of An American Summer, was selected as the first place winner in Level 2 competition for grades 7-8. And, Dale’s letter to Ben Mikaelsen, author of Touching Spirit Bear, was named first place winner in Level 1 competition for grades 4-6. All three winning letters advanced to national competition.
Letters About Literature is a reading and writing promotion program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, presented in partnership with Target Stores. In Kansas, the program is administered by the Kansas Center for the Book. Judges are all Fellows or representatives of Affiliates of the Kansas Center for the Book.
To enter, young readers write a personal letter to an author explaining how his or her work changed their view of the world or themselves.
Readers can select authors from any genre—fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. The program has three competition levels: upper elementary, middle school and secondary. The contest theme encourages young readers to explore his or her personal response to a book, then express that response in a creative, original way. In Kansas, over 1,300 children in grades 4-12 competed.
Kansas state winners each receive a cash award, a $50 Target gift card, and recognition by the Kansas Center for the Book at their school. Their letters are forwarded to the national competition to compete with state winners from across the U.S.
The Kansas Center for the Book promotes reading and libraries, fosters statewide literary activities, and seeks to stimulate public interest in the educational and cultural role of the book, authorship and writing. As a state Affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Kansas Center for the Book is a nonprofit, tax-exempt program of the State Library of Kansas.
Target Stores, along with its parent company Target Corporation, gives back more than $2 million a week to 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.