08 October 2012

We have a winner!

Alaska Day is a pretty big deal in Sitka. There are right around two whole weeks of festivities planned each year to commemorate the transfer of Russian claim of Alaska to the U.S. on October 18, 1867, which all took place right here in Sitka. One of these events is a community essay contest and this year's theme is "Celebrating 100 years of Alaska Native Brotherhood." The prizes for the contest are $100, $50, and $25 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, respectively, for each age group (Elementary School, Middle School, High School, and Adult) and the opportunity to read your winning essay to the community during the Festival.

Seren's teacher, Ms. R, is a member of the women's writing group that sponsors the writing contest, so of course she involved as many students as she could in the process. There were two topics to choose from: "Your Family's Traditions and Cultures" or "Human Rights." Seren chose the former and sat down with Stephen one evening and composed this:

I'm going to write about traditions my family has for birthdays and bedtime and when people die.
For birthdays, we give people treats like cupcakes and real cakes. The person that has the birthday gets to choose the kind of treat. That person shares with their class or their family or their grandparents. We also have birthday dinners and the person that has the birthday chooses the kind of dinner.
 When people die, we think about all of the happy things we used to do with them. We always put some stones on the gravestone when we visit the cemetery. We put the stones on the gravestone so that people know we've been looking there.
We have a bedtime tradition. We read a book if it's not too late and then we give hugs and kisses to everyone. (Not yourself, though, because that's impossible!)
Thank you for looking at this! I like fun traditions.

The contest results were released today and Seren won 3rd Place in the Elementary School division! She will receive $25 and will get to read her entry to the community on Sunday afternoon (October 14th).

We're very proud of her and she's excited too!

Photo courtesy of alaskadayfestival.org


  1. Looking forward to her reading and to handing her the $25!

    1. Yeah, I plan on helping her practice in my classroom in front of students! Does the reading happen on mic?