November 2012 Issue
October 26, 2012

Short takes: Letters about literature

Source: NYSUT United

Letters about literature

New York students in grades 4-10 are eligible to participate in the national Letters About Literature program sponsored by the Library of Congress' National Center for the Book. Winners in three age categories will be chosen to represent New York on the national level. Visit Empire State Book,, for entry forms and program guidelines.

Entries must be postmarked no later than Jan. 11, 2013, and received at the national clearinghouse no later than Jan. 23. Winners will be recognized at the New York State Writers Hall of Fame Gala. National winners, announced in late April, receive additional prizes.

To participate, student readers must write to an author — living or dead — describing how that author's work changed the reader's view of the world or himself/herself. For more info, contact Ellen Rubin, NYS Letters About Literature coordinator, at or call 845-546-8444.

Contest promotes STEM

The 2012-13 Christopher Columbus Awards program is challenging teams of up to four students and a coach to identify a community issue and use the scientific process to solve it. Finalist teams win an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World® where they attend the Christopher Columbus Academy and compete for gold medals, cash prizes and the $25,000 Columbus Foundation Community Grant.

In its 16 years, the program has attracted more than 20,000 students from all across the country, and appeals to educators who are increasingly looking to develop critical science, technology, engineering and math skills in students while meeting state and federal standards.

For more information and competition guidelines, call 800-291-6020 or visit Coaches may be teachers, parents, community leaders or mentors. The deadline for entries is Feb. 4, 2013.