Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Girls Capture 2nd Place in City-Wide Writing Contest

The anxiety was building as Girls High School Principal Mrs. Anat Kampf, High School English teacher Mrs. Abby Johnson, 12th graders Shoshana Somer and Molly Brakha, their families, and I listened to the announcements of the winners of Bnai Brith's Diverse Minds Writing Challenge downtown at the National Civil Rights Museum.

Before making the announcement, the director of the program informed the crowd that they had received at least one submission for the contest, a challenge that asked high school student to write and illustrate a children's book about tolerance and diversity, from every high school in Shelby County. Only the authors of the five submissions which a team of expert judges deemed best, were invited to the program at the Civil Rights Museum.

After her introduction she began by announcing the two Honorable Mentions: a pair of girls from St. Mary's Episcopal School and a girl from White Station High School.  Then she announced the third place winner, who would take home a $1000 college scholarship: it was two boys from Germantown High School.  Smiles then flashed across the faces of our entire contingency.  No matter what happened next, the girls from our tiny little high school had just beat out students from the biggest and most well-regarded private and public high schools in our city.

Molly and Shoshana were called next and went up to receive their $2000 college scholarship.  Though 1st place came with the additional bonus of having the book published by Bnai Brith, our girls realized rather quickly that the accolades their book received meant it might be worth exploring other publishing options.   So don't be surprised if in a few months, while walking through the children's section of your favorite book store or browsing on Amazon, you notice a book called the World of Color, written by Molly Brakha and illustrated by Shoshana Somer.  If you do, buy it.  It's well worth a read.

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