Two Learwood Students are Finalists in Maltz Museum Essay Contest
Avon Lake student Andrea Bestor won $50,000 in 2010.
Lexee Dalgleish and Noah Rish, both seventh-graders at Learwood Middle School are finalists. They will be honored May 2 at Severance Hall.
They represent two of 15 finalists in grades 6-12. More than 1,600 students in seven counties submitted essays.
In 2008, the the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage created a contest to encourage middle and high school students to focus attention on the corrosive effects of hatred, discrimination and intolerance while developing critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills.
The essay asks, “What would you do to stop hatred and discrimination?”
Submitted essays address a variety of issues, from cyberbullying and racism to anti-Semitism, and LGBT issues, offering heartfelt and innovative solutions.
Both Learwood students are taught by Language Arts teacher Kim Johnson.
“I am immensely proud of not only their excellent writing skills, but also their ability at such a young age to show insight and compassion on the subject of bullying, discrimination, and hatred,” Johnson said.
Avon Lake has been well represented in the contest. In 2010, high school senior Andrea Bestor won a $50,000 scholarship after writing about the bullying a special education student at Avon Lake High School endured. Following his death, she launched the "Speak No Evil" campaign at her school.
Essays are read and scored by more than 200 community volunteers.
“I am overwhelmed not only by the passion of our teenagers who share their stories of discrimination and their action plans with us, but by the hundreds of volunteer readers and judges who take the time to read and score each essay," Jill Rembrandt, Maltz Museum Director of Education and Public Programs, said. "Truly, we know that it is this generation of young people who will someday change the world.”
Students compete for a total of $100,000 in scholarships and prizes. Finalists in grades 6-10 will be honored along with 10 junior and senior finalists (who compete for three scholarships by giving oral presentations) at an awards ceremony on May 2 at Severance Hall.