Three Coconut Grove a students will be honored in the 17th Annual Celebrate America Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest for their winning creative writing pieces expressing why they are glad America is a nation of immigrants. Sponsored by AILA South Florida and the American Immigration Council (AIC) to help spread a positive message about the benefits of immigration to America, the contest received dozens of entries from schools throughout South Florida.
The winning essay entitled "The Land of Opportunity" was written by 11-year-old Charlotte Leigh, a fifth grade student at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Coconut Grove. Second and third place awards went to Valeria Rizo-Patron and Carolina Alicia Swain, also both of Carrollton School. The three winners will be honored during a ceremony at an upcoming AILA South Florida membership luncheon, and will receive $100, $50 and $25 prizes respectively. A $100 gift certificate is also awarded to the winner’s teacher.
As the first place winner, Leigh will represent South Florida in the National Creative Writing Contest, the winner of which will receive all-expenses paid trip for three to Boston to read his or her winning entry at the American Immigration Council’s Benefit Dinner. The national winner will also be honored with an engraved plaque, have a flag flown over the capital in his or her honor, and the winning piece will be printed in the Congressional Record.
Renowned writer, playwright and actress Lee Chamberlin served as the judge of the South Florida finalists and selected the winners from many excellent entries.
South Florida schools and teachers should be sure to include this contest as they plan their curriculums for the upcoming school year. In addition to hosting this annual contest, AILA South Florida is always happy to have members to come speak to local classes and educate them about immigration.
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