Author Archives: briancookeducator

Young Authors’ Recipients Honored at Salisbury University

Student receiving award.

 James M. Bennett student Jenny Chen takes the top award at the annual Young Authors’ Contest hosted by the Eastern Shore Literacy Association. Chen placed first in 11th grade short story at the local and state level. Photo/Tracy Sahler

 

 

  • Chen garners top student writing award

Salisbury, Md. – The Eastern Shore Literacy Association (ESLA) filled the Holloway Hall Auditorium at Salisbury University Wednesday evening to announce the 2020 Young Authors’ Contest winners. Receiving entries encompassing public, private, and homeschooled students on the Shore’s lower three counties, the contest continues to become more and more competitive as the quality of writing is improving among entries.

Awards on a table.

 The annual Young Authors’ Contest hosted in the Holloway Hall Auditorium at Salisbury University was the an opportunity to shine the light on the talented student writers in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Photo/Tracy Sahler

“We are very proud of the students who entered this year’s contest,” Dr. Brian Cook, ESLA Young Authors’ Contest Co-Chair, stated in a release. He indicated the contest was comprised of students in grades 1-12 and two categories, poetry and short story, available in each of those grade levels. Those invited for the awards ceremony received a finalist postcard notifying them they were a top three place winner. “Anytime you can highlight a child who is working and challenging themselves to improve their writing is a huge win. Many of our students here tonight were first time winners and were beaming as they came up to receive their award; it was truly exciting.”

Prior to announcing awards winner students were inspired by the words of children’s author Claudia Friddell. Friddell touted the talents of the young writers and encouraged them to never give up on the writing process. A former elementary teacher, Friddell shared with students about her passion for discovering and sharing exciting, real-life stories. Friddell is the author of George Washington’s SpiesGoliath, Hero of the Great Baltimore Fire, and her upcoming book, Saving Lady Liberty. Friddell was available to socialize with students and discuss the writing prompt.

Local winners included the following students:

  • Grade 1, Poetry –  (1) Serena Jaoude, Worcester Preparatory.
  • Grade 1, Short Story – (1) Luke Holder, The Salisbury School; (2) Ava Gibbs, The Salisbury School.
  • Grade 2, Poetry – (1) Madeleine Cook, Pocomoke Elementary; (2) La’nya Randall, Glen Avenue Elementary; (3) Isabella Rice, Worcester Preparatory.
  • Grade 2, Short Story – (1) Montane Kilgoe, Glen Avenue Elementary; (2) Lily Grace Kirby, Ocean City Elementary; (3) Anna McCormack, Ocean City Elementary.
  • Grade 3, Poetry – (1) Callan Bergquist, North Salisbury Elementary; (2) Jackson Reddish, North Salisbury Elementary; (3) London Noelle Morton, North Salisbury Elementary.
  • Grade 3, Short Story – (1) Ellie Wells, Buckingham Elementary; (2) Yamose Alazy, Delmar Elementary; (3) Elias Baldridge, Ocean City Elementary.
  • Grade 4, Poetry – (1) Cooper Senter, North Salisbury Elementary; (2-tie) Kinzie Bunting, Worcester Preparatory; (2-tie) Ellie Phillips, Worcester Preparatory; (3-tie) Trezdon Santos, North Salisbury Elementary; (3-tie) Avery Wiltbank, North Salisbury Elementary.
  • Grade 4, Short Story – (1) Ryan Shipp, Worcester Preparatory; (2) Reed Luppens, North Salisbury Elementary; (3) Ben Rafinski, Worcester Preparatory.
  • Grade 5, Poetry – (1) Peyton Davis, North Salisbury Elementary; (2) Lucy Gibson, Deal Island Elementary; (3) Karsyn Pete, North Salisbury Elementary.
  • Grade 5, Short Story – (1) Madison Wheeler, Pittsville Elementary; (2) Charlotte Malone, North Salisbury Elementary; (3-tie) Peter Jin, North Salisbury Elementary; (3-tie) Gavin Parks, Deal Island Elementary.
  • Grade 6, Poetry – (1) Adelaide Hope Dawkins, Berlin Intermediate; (2) Alex Catlin, Salisbury Middle; (3) Hannah Taylor, Salisbury Middle.
  • Grade 6, Short Story – (1) Charles Williams, Salisbury Middle; (2) Sydney Todorov, Worcester Preparatory; (3) Tyler Netting, Worcester Preparatory.
  • Grade 7, Poetry – (1) Johanna Hallman, Stephen Decatur Middle; (2) Josephine Palmer, Stephen Decatur Middle; (3) Diva Shrestha, Salisbury Middle.
  • Grade 7, Short Story – (1) Landon Schul, Worcester Preparatory; (2) Ava Baer, Mardela Middle and High School; (3) Sierra Merritt, Pocomoke Middle School.
  • Grade 8, Poetry – (1) Mia Lucinda Lovitt, Stephen Decatur Middle; (2) Josh Blume, Stephen Decatur Middle; (3-tie) Tanner Ellis, Stephen Decatur Middle; (3-tie) Kaiden Bonbright, The Salisbury School.
  • Grade 8, Short Story – (1) Ella Vilmar, Bennett Middle; (2) Abbi Weeks, Stephen Decatur Middle; (3) Pim Noparat, Stephen Decatur Middle.
  • Grade 9, Poetry – (1) Emily Garlock, James M. Bennett High; (2) Riley Moyer, Worcester Preparatory; (3) Emily O’Brien, The Salisbury School.
  • Grade 9, Short Story – (1) Jessica Beck, Stephen Decatur High; (2) Emily Leon, The Salisbury School; (3) Rory Pugh, Worcester Preparatory.
  • Grade 10, Poetry – (1) Maya Matava, James M. Bennett High; (2) Brooke Phillips, Worcester Preparatory; (3) Alexis Robertson, The Salisbury School.
  • Grade 10, Short Story – (1) Madeline Umsted, Mardela Middle & High; (2-tie) Jake Gillespie, Stephen Decatur High; (2-tie) Rosy Gao, James M. Bennett High; (3) Shannon Cottingham, Mardela Middle and High School.
  • Grade 11, Poetry – (1) Ki-Jhae Bull, Pocomoke High; (2) ; Hannah Perdue, Worcester Preparatory; (3) Waverly Choy, Worcester Preparatory.
  • Grade 11, Short Story – (1) Jenny Chen, James M. Bennett High; (2) Sophia Smith, James M. Bennett High; (3) Lydia Woodley, Stephen Decatur High.
  • Grade 12, Poetry – (1) Marvin Mason, Pocomoke High; (2) Devin Wallace, Worcester Preparatory; (3) Chloe Westbrook, Pocomoke High.
  • Grade 12, Short Story – (1) Mulan Bell, James M. Bennett High.

The top winners in each grade level and category were forwarded onto the state level competition hosted by the State of Maryland Literacy Association. The Lower Shore had three students garner a first or second place ranking in the state Young Authors’ Contest. State level winners included:

  • Emily Garlock, James M. Bennett High, Grade 9 Poetry – 2nd place
  • Maya Matava, James M. Bennett High, Grade 10 Poetry – 2nd place
  • Jenny Chen, James M. Bennett High, Grade 11 Short Story – 1st place

“We continue to be well represented at the state level,” Lizanne Wallace, ESLA Young Authors’ Contest Co-Chair, stated in a release. “It is no longer uncommon to have Eastern Shore students place at the state. Our writers continue to get better and better every year. We are proud of their accomplishments as well their teacher’s dedication to improve writing instruction. The Young Authors’ Contest is reaping the benefits of strong teachers.”

#LiteracyMatters

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Social Emotional Learning in Literature Event Slated

Fruitland, MD — Join the Eastern Shore Literacy Association as it sponsors a session on Teaching Social Emotional Learning in Literature on Monday, March 23 at Adam’s Taphouse Grille. While there are many opportunities to integrate SEL into the school day, literature and stories provide for one of the most natural and impactful means of conveying the specific concepts behind it and more importantly of making them matter!

Booksource will present on access and use of free online tools for choosing classroom titles and evaluating the diversity in your current classroom library materials…and each attendee will receive free copies of books highlighted in the presentation.

Registration begins at 4:30 with dinner and presentations following beginning at 5:00.

The event is FREE for members and non-members can simply join by paying the $25 registration fee.

RSVP by Friday, March 20 at tinyurl.com/ESLAMARCH2020

 #LiteracyMatters

Annual Barbara S. Davis Scholarship Information Available

Barbara S. Davis Scholarship FlyerThe annual Barbara S. Davis Scholarship is now available to high school seniors. Each year the Eastern Shore Literacy Association honors past president and membership chair Barbara S. Davis with an annual scholarship. Davis, a retired teacher in Wicomico County Public Schools, is remembered for her passion towards sparking the love of reading to all of her students and those in the local communities in which she served. Davis’ scholarship is awarded annually to an individual who intends on majoring in education in the amount of $1,000.

For more information or to review the scholarship criteria regarding the annual scholarship, visit our scholarship page.

#LiteracyMatters

Celebrate World Read Aloud Day 2020

Newark, Md. — Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) is proud to announce it will take part in the annual World Read Aloud Day on Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Student and staff can participate in the global project using the following steps via Flipgrid:

  • Go to tinyurl.com/WRAD2020
  • Log in using Office 365  or Google credentials (teachers can log in for younger students)
  • Hit the Green circle with the white plus sign
  • Introduce yourself by stating your name, state, and country
  • Read an excerpt from your favorite book/poem
  • Share why that excerpt is important

The global project is in conjunction with LitWorld, a nonprofit that encourages self-empowerment and community change through literacy. World Read AloudDay now reaches millions of people in more than 100 countries.

#LiteracyMatters

Community Baby Shower a Literacy Success

Give aways books on table

Salisbury, MD — There was a lot of energy in the air during the Community Baby Shower hosted by the Wicomico County Judy Center at the Christian Outreach Center on Gordy Road Saturday morning. Families expecting a little one in the future were invited to learn of the different services in supporting the upbringing of their future child.

Eastern Shore Literacy Association member MaryKate Ford is shown sharing about early literacy books to one family attending the Community Baby Shower sponsored by the Wicomico County Public Schools’ Judy Center.

Other community groups in attendance included: Amazing Grace Daycare, Amerigroup, Birth to Five, Chesapeake Health Care, Cross Pointe Nazarene, Department of Social Services, Focus Point, Frog Street: Love & Learn, Grace Center for Maternal and Women’s Health, Jordan Child Development Center, Kenisha Fletcher Photography, Lead4Life Inc., Local Management Board, Lower Shore Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, Maryland EXCELS, PRMC: Labor & Delivery, Shore Grace Family Wellness, Wicomico County Health Department, Wicomico County Public Library, and Wraparound Maryland Inc.

 

Finalist Named in Young Authors’ Contest

Salisbury, Md. – After receiving hundreds of submissions from talented writers, the Eastern Shore Literacy Association (ESLA) is proud to announce its finalist in the 2020 Young Authors’ Contest. Finalists are individuals who have finished in the top three in their respective category, poetry or short story, and grade level. Each finalist in grades 1-12 submitted an original writing artifact that was judged using a blind scoring method.

“We continue to get high quality of entries year in and year out,” ESLA Young Authors’ Contest Chair Brian Cook explained as entries came in from 24 different schools, public, private, and homeschools. “We are fortunate to have many of our Eastern Shore schools putting an emphasis on student writing. Both the students and teachers’ efforts are making it more and more difficult each year to determine finalist because the quality of writing continually gets better.”

Finalists and their families, teachers, school administrators, and central officer personnel are now invited to take part in the Young Authors’ Awards Reception at Salisbury University in the Holloway Hall Auditorium, located on the first floor, on March 4, 2020 at 6:30 pm.

“We hope to continue the tradition we started two years ago of building anticipation in each of our finalist and get everyone here to Salisbury University to celebrate student writing. We feel last year’s turnout in Holloway Hall was topnotch, and we want to continue making this evening the ‘Grammy’s of Writing’ for our students,” Young Authors’ Contest co-chair Lizanne Wallace explained. “This is the night where we place student authors on a pedestal for their exemplary writing ability.”

The winning work of each student will be featured in the contest’s anthology and one will be given to each finalist. Electronic versions of the anthology will be available as well.

Individuals earning finalist status are listed alphabetically by last name in each grade and category. The order shown below does not reflect the placement where student authors finished in the contest.

*Grade 1, Poetry –  Serena Jaoude, Worcester Preparatory.

*Grade 1, Short Story – Ava Gibbs, The Salisbury School; Luke Holder, The Salisbury School.

Grade 2, Poetry – Madeleine Cook, Pocomoke Elementary; La’nya Randall, Glen Avenue Elementary; Isabella Rice, Worcester Preparatory.

Grade 2, Short Story – Montane Kilgoe, Glen Avenue Elementary; Lily Grace Kirby, Ocean City Elementary; Anna McCormack, Ocean City Elementary.

Grade 3, Poetry – Callan Bergquist, North Salisbury Elementary; London Noelle Morton, North Salisbury Elementary; Jackson Reddish, North Salisbury Elementary.

Grade 3, Short Story – Yamose Alazy, Delmar Elementary; Elias Baldridge, Ocean City Elementary; Ellie Wells, Buckingham Elementary.

**Grade 4, Poetry – Kinzie Bunting, Worcester Preparatory; Ellie Phillips, Worcester Preparatory; Trezdon Santos, North Salisbury Elementary; Cooper Senter, North Salisbury Elementary; Avery Wiltbank, North Salisbury Elementary.

Grade 4, Short Story – Reed Luppens, North Salisbury Elementary; Ben Rafinski, Worcester Preparatory; Ryan Shipp, Worcester Preparatory.

Grade 5, Poetry – Peyton Davis, North Salisbury Elementary; Lucy Gibson, Deal Island Elementary; Karsyn Pete, North Salisbury Elementary.

**Grade 5, Short Story – Peter Jin, North Salisbury Elementary; Gavin Parks, Deal Island Elementary; Charlotte Malone, North Salisbury Elementary; Madison Wheeler, Pittsville Elementary.

Grade 6, Poetry – Alex Catlin, Salisbury Middle; Adelaide Hope Dawkins, Berlin Intermediate; Hannah Taylor, Salisbury Middle.

Grade 6, Short Story – Tyler Netting, Worcester Preparatory; Sydney Todorov, Worcester Preparatory; Charles Williams, Salisbury Middle.

Grade 7, Poetry – Johanna Hallman, Stephen Decatur Middle; Josephine Palmer, Stephen Decatur Middle; Diva Shrestha, Salisbury Middle.

Grade 7, Short Story – Ava Baer, Mardela Middle and High School; Sierra Merritt, Pocomoke Middle School; Landon Schul, Worcester Preparatory.

**Grade 8, Poetry – Josh Blume, Stephen Decatur Middle; Kaiden Bonbright, The Salisbury School; Tanner Ellis, Stephen Decatur Middle; Mia Lucinda Lovitt, Stephen Decatur Middle.

Grade 8, Short Story – Pim Noparat, Stephen Decatur Middle; Ella Vilmar, Bennett Middle; Abbi Weeks, Stephen Decatur Middle.

Grade 9, Poetry – Emily Garlock, James M. Bennett High; Riley Moyer, Worcester Preparatory; Emily O’Brien, The Salisbury School.

Grade 9, Short Story – Jessica Beck, Stephen Decatur High; Emily Leon, The Salisbury School; Rory Pugh, Worcester Preparatory.

Grade 10, Poetry – Brooke Phillips, Worcester Preparatory; Maya Matava, James M. Bennett High; Alexis Robertson, The Salisbury School.

**Grade 10, Short Story – Shannon Cottingham, Mardela Middle and High School; Rosy Gao, James M. Bennett High; Jake Gillespie, Stephen Decatur High; Madeline Umsted, Mardela Middle & High.

Grade 11, Poetry – Ki-Jhae Bull, Pocomoke High; Waverly Choy, Worcester Preparatory; Hannah Perdue, Worcester Preparatory.

Grade 11, Short Story – Jenny Chen, James M. Bennett High; Sophia Smith, James M. Bennett High; Lydia Woodley, Stephen Decatur High.

Grade 12, Poetry – Marvin Mason, Pocomoke High; Devin Wallace, Worcester Preparatory; Chloe Westbrook, Pocomoke High.

*Grade 12, Short Story – Mulan Bell, James M. Bennett High.

*Indicates category did not have three finalists.

**Indicates category had a tie resulting in more than three finalists.

 

About Eastern Shore Literacy Association

Eastern Shore Literacy Association is a nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the level of literacy in the lower three counties (Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester) on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  It promotes quality literacy instruction by: supporting the mission of the State of Maryland Literacy Association and International Literacy Association, disseminating best literacy practices to educators and parents, advocating for literacy issues through legislation and collaborating with educational institutions, professional organizations and businesses.

The group is active in the Lower Eastern Shore communities supporting literacy initiatives and individuals who have sparked a passion for reading. The group is made up primarily of K-12 educators (both current and retired) from public and private schools across Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore as well as individuals active in the higher education community