5th-, 6th-graders invited to submit book essay

Library of Congress contest wants input on reading that had impact

ImageThe Chester County Library System has been selected to participate in this year’s summer essay contest sponsored by the Library of Congress. This contest is held in conjunction with public libraries in the mid‐Atlantic region, encouraging rising fifth- and sixth-grade students to reflect on a book that has made a personal impact on their lives, a news release said.

The “A Book That Shaped Me” Summer Writing Contest is administered as part of summer reading programs at participating public libraries in Washington, DC; Maryland; Virginia; Delaware; Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.  The Library of Congress will award prizes to five finalists and one winner per state, and to three overall grand-prize winners.

To enter, students must submit a one-page essay on a book that had a significant influence in their life, using examples from the book to explain its importance. Essays may be typed or hand-written and must be submitted in person to a participating library by Aug. 12 with a completed contest entry form containing your parent or guardian’s signature. Essays will be judged on content, structure, spelling and grammar, and creativity.

Three grand prize winners will be selected by a panel of judges, including educators, children’s authors, and Library of Congress staff, assembled by the Library of Congress.  Prizes will be awarded and top winners will be invited to present their essays during a special presentation at the Library of Congress National Book Festival Sept. 21 and 22 on the National Mall in Washington, DC.  More than 200,000 people attended the festival last year.

Launched in 2012 with the District of Columbia Public Library, “A Book That Shaped Me” is expanding throughout the mid‐Atlantic region in its second year with the help of selected public libraries.  More than 270 public libraries are registered to participate, including the  Avon Grove Library, Bayard Taylor Memorial Library, West Chester Library and Chester County Library.

For locations, direction and hours of your local library, visit www.ccls.org.  The full list of participating libraries in the mid-Atlantic region, more information, and program updates are available at http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/kids-teachers/booksthatshape/.

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