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Schools select Young Authors Winners

During a unique school year, many students were able to tap into their own creativity to participate in the Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 Young Authors program. Six of those writers were recognized as District Representatives for their outstanding manuscripts.

Students chose themes including chronicling a year during the COVID-19 pandemic, a journey to investigate a vehicle salvage yard, a creepy horror story, the tale of a long lost twin and a young person’s awakened desire to clean up the environment.

Kristen Sauber, a District 200 literacy coach who oversees the Young Authors program, said the 2020-2021 school year was a challenge in many ways, but keeping the program running remained a priority.

“Our teachers wanted to make sure students still had the opportunity to participate in Young Authors. While it looked a little different this year, students still had the chance to create and share their stories with their class and school through the D 200 Young Authors program,” she said. 

Since much of the school year was conducted remotely, and some students chose to remain remote even when buildings reopened in February, students were able to complete their Young Authors manuscripts at home.

“They could create stories digitally that could be emailed to their teachers. Or, they could create paper copies of books and videotape themselves reading their books,” Sauber said.

The pandemic didn’t allow the normal process of reviewing books districtwide where a team of teachers and community members read and rate the works. Instead, individual schools chose their own school representative. Olson, Westwood, Prairiewood and Dean Street Elementary Schools chose to recognize all who participated rather than an individual representative.

The following students were selected as District representatives for submitting the highest scored manuscripts from their schools:

  • Ellie Wall, 3rd grade, Greenwood Elementary School, “My Journey Through COVID.”
  • Noah Folden, 5th grade, Clay Academy, “My Oklahoma Adventures.”
  • Destiny Cook, 8th grade, Northwood Middle School, “The Keeper.”
  • Emily Powell, 6th grade, Creekside Middle School, “The Story of Ren.”
  • Mayrin Nova Esquival and Stephanie Davila, 5th grade, Mary Endres Elementary School, “Helping Our Environment.”


Photos of winning students