Winning writers: District students bring home awards in WQLN ‘Kids Writers’ contest

Photo provided to the Times Observer Five Warren Area Elementary Center students placed in the WQLN writing contest including Eliza Hellman, Adley Brown, Magnus Ferrie, Sophia Zivkovich and Reagan McClellan.

A total of 12 Warren County School District students placed – including four taking first place – in the WQLN PBS Kids Writers Writing Contest.

It’s a competition that, according to WQLN, is “designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning.

“The contest invites kids to experience the hands-on process of developing their own stories and illustrations, which builds language skills such as reading, grammar and syntax, and encourages creativity.”

The contest is open to students in grades K-5 and prizes for first, second and third are awarded in each grade.

At Beaty-Warren Middle School, Madison Tidrick took first place in fifth grade for her story “The Clown Cat.”

Photo provided to the Times Observer Madison Tidrick, a fifth-grader at Beaty-Warren Middle School, was one of four students in the WCSD to take first place in the WQLN PBS Kids Writers Writing Contest.

“I didn’t expect to win because I have entered a story since kindergarten and never placed at all,” Tidrick said. “I was excited, but I wasn’t used to getting all the praise I received.”

“I’m so happy that Madison received first place with her story,” her teacher, Meggi Brown, said. ” It was a very heartwarming story about a cat who saved the circus. She dedicated her story to her own beloved cat who recently passed away and everyone at the awards ceremony felt her emotions as she read her story.”

Eisenhower Elementary had six students place.

That included Grace Jespersen who took first place, third grade for “How I Met A Mummy” as well as Chase Chamberlin (third place, second grade, “The Football Game); Sebastian Cable (second place, third grade, “Ben’s Adventure); Avery Bimber (third place, third grade, “Pawsitive Pups”); Derek Leach (third place, fourth grade, “The Panda and the Farmer”) and Amolia Jackson (third place, fifth grade, “Dream Big.”)

“My students worked extremely hard on their stories and had a great time working through the writing process and developing a creative story,” their teacher, Fallon Bachman, said.

“It felt amazing to win first place. It took a lot of work and I didn’t think I would win,” Jespersen explained.

Five additional students from Warren Area Elementary Center also placed, highlighted by Eliza Hellman taking first place in kindergarten with “The Smooshed Pumpkin” and Reagan McClellan’s first place, fourth grade work entitled “Supermarket Lovers.”

Three students finished in second – Adley Brown in kindergarten with “The Space Adventure,” Magnus Ferrie, first grade, for “The Spooky House” and Sophia Zivkovich, second grade, for “The Flamingo that Stayed White.”

“I really enjoy getting to think about a story and what actions would happen and then writing the story and illustrating the characters,” McClellan said. The whole process is very calm, including the award reception where we all read our stories and have snacks. The WQLN people are really nice and make us all feel welcome.”

“I was scared to read my story, but then at the end, I was really happy,” Hellman said.

An awards ceremony was held earlier this month where all participants received a portable desk with writing and drawing supplies as well as a Barnes and Noble gift card.

“I have enjoyed working with my students this year through the entire writing process: Generating ideas for their stories, developing a good problem and solution, writing their drafts, editing, and finally illustrating their stories,” Rebecca Downey, who worked with the students at WAEC, explained. “I am so proud of their creativity and hard work.”


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