[kids-lib] Oregon Student Wins National Honor Award in Letters About Literature Contest

Jennifer Maurer jennifer.maurer at state.or.us
Wed May 20 13:29:14 PDT 2015

Congratulations to Hannah DesChamp from Eugene for being selected as a National Honor Award recipient in this year's Letters About Literature program. Read the press release below for details, and check out our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ORLibSupport) for some pictures of our Letters About Literature awards celebration. Thanks to the Children's Services Division of OLA for donating prize money.


Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
jennifer.maurer at state.or.us<mailto:jennifer.maurer at state.or.us>

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From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Jessica Rondema
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 8:44 AM
To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us<mailto:libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us>
Subject: [Libs-Or] Oregon Student Wins National Honor Award in Letters About Literature Contest

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Kate Brown, Governor

State Library
250 Winter St. NE
Salem, OR 97301-3950
(503) 378-4243
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TTY (503) 378-4334

CONTACT: Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
Oregon State Library
(503) 378-5011

May 20, 2015


Hannah DesChamp, a sophomore at North Eugene High School, was selected as a National Honor Award recipient for her 2015 Letters About Literature entry. Hannah wrote a powerful letter to Pablo Neruda about how she connected with his poem, "I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You." She will receive a $200 check from the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, and her letter will be featured on the national Letters About Literature website (http://www.read.gov/letters/). Oregon's Letters About Literature honorees, including Hannah, were recognized at an awards celebration at the Oregon State Library, and their letters are posted on the Oregon Letters About Literature website (http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/youthsvcs/aboutlit.aspx).

To participate in Letters About Literature, students read a book, poem, play, or speech and write to the author, still living or not, detailing how the text affected them personally or changed their world view. The following Oregon children and teens were recognized at the state level for their letters:
Level I (4th-6th Grades)
Winner: Vicky Siah, Beaverton
Runner-Up: Sophie Ong, Beaverton
Honorable Mentions: Aletha Lengkong, Eugene; Mia Cremona, Lake Oswego; Cameron Iizuka, Lake Oswego; Phoebe Garrett, Lake Oswego; Amala Rajagopal, Beaverton

Level II (7th-8th Grades)
Winner: Sophie Ciurlik Rittenbaum, Medford
Runner-Up: Madeleine Adriance, Portland
Honorable Mentions: Chloe Scribner, Corvallis; Ashleen Smith, Madras; Soumik Chakraborty, Portland; Noah Kurzenhauser, Milwaukie; Zora Kurenhauser, Milwaukie

Level III (9th-12th Grades)
Winner: Hannah DesChamp, Eugene
Runner-Up: Khiarica Rasheed, Portland
Honorable Mentions: Sam Arnot, Portland; Mariah Jacobs, Sherwood; Autumn Grube, Keizer
The 105 semi-finalists from around the state were honored separately.

Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing promotion program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Local cosponsors are the Oregon Center for the Book at the State Library, the Oregon Reading Association, and three divisions of the Oregon Library Association: Children's Services Division, Oregon Young Adult Network, and Oregon Association of School Libraries. All but the Oregon Center for the Book contribute money to provide prizes.

Out of about 50,000 entries nationally, 1,069 came from Oregon children and teenagers. Level I of the contest is open to students in grades 4 through 6, Level II to students in grades 7 and 8, and Level III to students in grades 9 through 12. All entries are sent to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress to be screened, and letters that make it through that round are sent to Letters About Literature program coordinators in participating states. This year, 124 letters made it through the national screening to be judged in Oregon. Locally, judges are selected by the program coordinator at the State Library, and those judges select a winner, runner-up, and potential honorable mentions for each contest level. In Oregon, anyone whose letter makes it through the national screening but does not place in the state is considered a semi-finalist. As a final step, the winning letter from each of the three levels for all participating states advances to be judged at the national level. Oregon students traditionally do well at the national level.

All Oregon honorees receive a certificate from the Oregon Center for the Book. Additionally, first place winners each receive $100, runners-up $50, honorable mentions a $25 bookstore gift card, and semi-finalists a $10 bookstore gift card. These were the Oregon judges: Level I: author Dawn Prochovnic, children's librarian Kathy Viemeister, and school librarian Erin Fitzpatrick-Bjorn; Level II: author Pamela Smith Hill, youth librarian Ann SeCoy, and school librarian Shelby Linn; Level III: author Nancy Osa, youth librarian Violeta Garza, and retired school librarian Marlene Lee.

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