[Libs-Or] Oregon Students to be Honored for Letters About Literature Entries

Jessica Rondema jessica.rondema at state.or.us
Mon May 4 11:42:00 PDT 2015

[State seal2][title]
Kate Brown, Governor

State Library
250 Winter St. NE
Salem, OR 97301-3950
(503) 378-4243
FAX (503) 588-7119
TTY (503) 378-4334

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

May 4, 2015


During a celebration at the Oregon State Library on Thursday, May 7th from 4:00 to 5:30 pm, students from across Oregon will be honored for their winning entries in the 2015 Letters About Literature contest. Nationally, students were asked to read a book, poem 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 are being 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 will be 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. The Library of Congress will announce national winners next week.

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. Winning letters will be posted soon on the State Library website, http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/youthsvcs/aboutlit.aspx.

The Oregon State Library is located at 250 Winter St. NE in Salem. The public is welcome to attend the Letters About Literature Awards celebration in the meeting room on the first floor.


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