In Their Own Words

AN ACTION-PACKED YEAR Lower School girls Lily and Nyomi show off their t-shirts after winning the personal essay contest by Scholastic, Inc. Photo by Emily
Fourth Grade Essay Contest

The fourth grade language arts students participated in a personal essay contest sponsored by Scholastic, titled the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest, in February. The girls learned how Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, shared their own personal barriers and explained in an essay how they used one or more of Jackie Robinson’s nine values—courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment and excellence—to face this barrier.
On April 4, fourth grade teacher Teresa Wilson received a congratulatory letter from Major League Baseball and Scholastic Inc. that Lily, one of the fourth grade students, was a MLB Prize Package Winner. She was awarded one of 30 MLB Club Prize Packages, each of which include a class set of tickets (up to 50) to a local MLB Club stadium, a framed winner certificate and a class set of T-shirts.
Wilson also conducted an in house fourth grade essay contest utilizing the same topic. Awards were presented to the following students:

A few of the awardees shared their experiences with Fourcast senior writer Caitlin.

Caitlin: “What did you like most about the contest?”
Marie: “It was exciting. I really liked it because I never really talk about how I feel about my siblings leaving every other Sunday, and it’s always been that way, so it’s never been something we all talk about because it’s been that way forever. But then I had the chance to really get my feelings out. Often when I was writing I would start tearing up because it was the first time for me to actually say how I felt.”
Nyomi: “I liked most how we could share our life experience about something that was really important to us or something that was a barrier that we had to get over the road and share our thoughts about that.”
Richa: “I liked the process and writing it and that we didn’t have to share it in front of the class because some of them were kind of personal. But then when we win it’s like ‘okay my writing’s good.’ And I just kind of liked the entire thing.”
Caitlin: “What was your reaction when you found out you won?”
Marie: “I was really excited because obviously I wanted to win, but I didn’t necessarily expect to win. I was kind of just writing about how I felt about my siblings leaving every Sunday.”
Anika: “I thought that I had a pretty good chance of winning, so I was pretty surprised, but I was also really happy.”
Caitlin: “What was the topic for your essay?”
Alexandra: “I did it about a sailboat trip when the sail fell on top of me and I couldn’t breathe for a few seconds, and it was really scary.”
Richa: “I wrote it about when I did tennis, how everyone was picking on me because I was the smallest and the worst.”
Nyomi: “I did living with type one diabetes.”
Lily: “I did how my babysitter left when she had been our babysitter for five years.”
Compiled by Caitlin and Hailey