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Celebrating Greenburgh’s Prize-Winning Writers 

Celebrating Greenburgh’s Prize-Winning Writers 

Greenburgh Schools are bursting at the seams with prize-winning writers – and pride! Students throughout the district recently entered a writing contest sponsored by The Writing Revolution in celebration of Black History Month, and the results are fantastic. There were nearly 15,000 submissions from 36 schools around the country, and Greenburgh students won nine of eleven of the awards, including three First Place prizes. 

So much success deserves a celebration, and that’s exactly what happened on April 28 at Woodlands Middle High School. The event showcased the exceptional writing talents of students across the district, and gave family members a chance to celebrate their children. The teachers of each student being recognized were also in attendance. 

Lori D’Andrea, the district’s Pre-K-12 Literacy Coach who coordinated participation in the contest, beamed as the event concluded, saying: “The celebration was amazing – administrators, teachers, parents and grandparents all came out to celebrate our students!

“And having the founders of The Writing Revolution come to personally meet and recognize our students and teachers helped highlight the overwhelming accomplishment of the Greenburgh students.”

D’Andrea says she received a wonderful letter from The Writing Revolution when the results were announced that reads: “There were a number of winners of the Black History Month Contest from Greenburgh! It is such a testament to the work that has been happening – the strategies jump off the page.”

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Personnel Dr. Macaluso said. “It was inspiring to see the proud smiles on the faces of students and their teachers alike. I am impressed by the quality of the work that was submitted, as well as the creativity and passion behind their topics.”

The Writing Revolution (TWR) is an organization that aims to enable all students, especially those from historically marginalized communities, to become proficient writers, readers, and critical thinkers. For this contest, TWR asked students in grades 3-12 to write a paragraph about a Black individual or group (past or present) that is inspirational to the writer. Students could choose a politician, writer, artist, musician, or anyone else who has inspired them.

Winning Greenburgh essays centered on a wide range of people, including Ruby Bridges, Madame C.J. Walker, and Jimi Hendrix. Ninth grader Praise Nnadiri wrote the First-Place essay for grades 9-12 about author Tomi Adeyemi, best known for her novel, Children of Blood and Bone. Praise writes that Adeyemi inspires her because she wants to be a writer, and because they both have Nigerian heritage. “Witnessing someone of my exact ethnicity so successful in my aspired career has been extremely motivating for me and gives me hope.” 

Praise also writes that the author taught her about her own background. “Adeyemi introduced me to a side of Nigerian culture I’d never explored before: Nigerian mythology. This brought me closer to my roots, as well as spread the culture to people who aren’t born into it.”

Seventh grader Dianne Manuel won first place in the grades 6-8 category for her essay about Ruby Bridges, the first African American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school. Dianne writes that Bridges was extremely brave. “Although Ruby Bridges received many threats and resentment, she is an inspiration by teaching us that you can be a role model despite your age.”

Kaeden Victoria won First Place in the grades 3-5 category for an essay about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist, gives me hope for a better tomorrow because he was persistent and did not give up on his dream,” writes Kaeden.

Here are all the winners and the prizes they took home.

Grades 9-12 

1st Place - Praise Nnadiri, 9th Grade, Woodlands High School (iPad)

2nd Place - Corinne Perrone, 9th Grade, Woodlands High School (tablet)

3rd Place - Leah Polit, 9th Grade, Woodlands High School (gift card)

Honorable Mention - Jake Morton, 9th Grade, Woodlands High School (gift card)

Grades 6-8 

1st Place - Dianne Manuel, 7th Grade, Woodlands Middle School (iPad)

2nd Place - Janelle Woodward, 7th Grade, Woodlands Middle School (tablet)

3rd Place - Chloe Taylor, 7th Grade, Woodlands Middle School (gift card)

Grades 3-5 

1st Place - Kaeden Victoria, 5th Grade, RJ Bailey (iPad)

3rd Place - Sophia Canela, 4th Grade, RJ Bailey (gift card)]

We congratulate all the winners and hope they will continue to nurture their writing talents. We know they will continue to inspire us. 

Hear the winners share their winning essay in their own words, enjoy!: