Reading Is Fundamental Names Winners of Annual Writing Contest
More than 1,100 Kids Shared Their Love of Animals by Entering Annual Writing Contest
Washington, April 26, 2007 — Today, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) announced the winners of its third annual "I Love Animals" writing contest. The contest invited children ages 5–15 to write an essay or poem of up to 1,000 words describing their love for the animals in their world. More than 1,100 kids entered the contest.
Judges from the World Wildlife Fund, the world's largest conservation organization, selected 12 winners in three categories: ages 5–8, 9–11, and 12–15. Each category had one grand-prize winner and three honorable mentions. The three grand-prize winners were: Isabella Kinder, age 7, of Grenada, Miss., who wrote a delightful story from the perspective of her pet flying squirrel; Emily C. Atwood, age 10, of Fairhope, Ala., who wrote an inspiring essay about the importance of animal conservation; and Ali Ruth, age 15, of Oak Hill, Va., who wrote an informative poem about the important role that oysters play as filters for the world's water systems. Winning entries can be read in their entirety at www.rif.org.
Honorable mention winners include: Casey Santee, age 8, of Floyd, La.; Renée Pino, age 8, of Dix Hills, N.Y.; Elise S. Van Scoy, age 8, of Duluth, Minn.; Ariel Ingber, age 10, of Potomac, Md.; Catherine Maccaro, age 11, of Manhasset, N.Y.; Kristiana Yao, age 10, of Naperville, Ill.; Emily Cohen, age 13, of Salmon, Idaho; Brittany Perry, age 15, of Ocala, Fla.; and Shannon Koelsch, age 12, of Yorktown, Ind.
National Geographic donated an exciting assortment of prizes. The three grand-prize winners will receive an Animal Adventure prize package, which includes:
- A subscription to National Geographic Kids magazine (for winners ages 5–11) or National Geographic magazine (for winners ages 12–15),
- An Encyclopedia of Animals,
- A March of the Penguins book and DVD, and
- An interactive atlas for their school library or class.
The grand-prize winners will also receive a $35 gift certificate to Amazon.com. Nine honorable mention winners will receive the National Geographic Animal Fun prize package, which includes:
- A subscription to National Geographic Kids magazine (for winners ages 5–11) or National Geographic magazine (for winners ages 12–15), and
- A March of the Penguins book and DVD.
"We are pleased that RIF's 'I Love Animals' writing contest inspired so many children to write about the animals in their lives," said Ernestine Walls Benedict, director of online communications at RIF. "This is the true work of RIF: sharing the joy of literacy with children."
The RIF Reading Planet is the children's section of the larger RIF website (www.rif.org). Aimed at children ages 6 to 15 and updated weekly, the advertising-free site offers an interactive community that encourages and supports reading and writing. Through the site, kids of all ages can join the free RIF Reading Planet Club; design their own homepage; and find writing contests, reading games, activities, and booklists.
Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF’s highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provides 4.6 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources each year. For more information and to access reading resources, visit RIF’s website at www.rif.org.
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