Other Education News

National Reading and Writing Contest for Young Readers

Monday, November 1, 2010, 1:19 pm

Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing promotion program for young readers in grades 4 through 12, sponsored in Montana by Humanities Montana and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in partnership with Target. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, explaining how his or her work changed their view of the world or themselves. Young readers can select authors from any genre—fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic.

Judges representing each state center for the book will select the top essayists in the state on three competition levels: Level I for young readers in grades 4 through 6; Level II for grade 7 and 8 readers, and Level III, for readers in grades 9 through 12. State winners will receive a $50 Target GiftCard and a cash award and certificate from Humanities Montana. Each state winner will then advance to the national competition.  A panel of judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will then select six national winners (two per competition level) and 12 national runners-up (four per competition level). Each national winner will receive a $500 Target GiftCard. In addition, they will win a Reading Promotion Grant of $10,000 for their school or community library. National winners will be instrumental in deciding how the library funds will be spent.  The 12 national runners-up will win a $100 Target GiftCard, plus they will win a Reading Promotion Grant of $1,000 for their school or community library.

LAL is one of the Center for the Book’s most successful literacy programs for adolescents. Last year, more than 70,000 young people from across the nation entered the competition. 

Montana students have won or placed in the national contest four times in the past ten years, according to Kim Anderson, Humanities Montana Associate Director, Programs. Over 600 Montana students entered the contest last year. Deadline for entries is December 10, 2010.

Contest guidelines and teaching materials including lesson plans, blackline masters, writing samples and assessment checklists, can be found at http://lettersaboutliterature.org.

Humanities Montana is Montana’s state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency. A nonprofit organization founded in 1972, Humanities Montana grants have served Montanans with thousands of public conferences, lectures, workshops, exhibits, television, radio, film and video productions, as well as awards for research and book publication subvention.

For more information, contact Kim Anderson, (406) 243-6022