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Award-winning author helps mark 30 years of Young Authors

PITTSBORO — Students should view creativity as a process and embrace failures as opportunities to grow, “Excellent Ed” children’s book author Stacy McAnulty said recently during the Chatham County Schools (CCS) Young Authors Celebration at The Barn in Fearrington Village.

The school system, along with McIntyre’s Books and Fearrington Village, marked three decades of Young Authors, a competition that encourages students in the craft of creative writing.The district’s top Young Authors competition gather with Supt. Dr. Derrick D. Jordan & NCDPI’s Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin.

The Mary Lee Moore Distinguished Author Award for the best overall entry in the district went to Margaret B. Pollard Middle School student Destyn Rader for “Counting Our Breaths.”

Perry Harrison Elementary School’s Joaquin Hernandez-Gonzalez earned the Distinguished Book Award among the district’s students in kindergarten through second grade for “Raking the Leaves."

Siler City Elementary School’s Alexander Hernandez-Rivas earned the Distinguished Book Award among the district’s students in third through fifth grades for “Dinosaur Escape.”

Pollard’s Ana Barton earned the Distinguished Book Award among the district’s students in sixth through eighth grades for “The Crumbling.”Books by Chatham County Schools students were displayed at the Young Authors Celebration at The Barn in Fearrington Village.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Deputy State Superintendent Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin said programs like Young Authors at the local level complement statewide efforts to encourage lifelong literacy. She, McAnulty and CCS Superintendent Dr. Derrick D. Jordan presented the awards, which included scores of trophies for students in the district.

CCS Chief Technology and Information Officer Keith Medlin, who emceed the ceremony, honored the school system’s media educators for their dedication to students and families, and he highlighted the importance of partnerships with local businesses that make possible events like Young Authors, where attendees browsed books by students from  all over the district. There was poetry, fiction, nonfiction and graphic novels. Some of the books were dual-language entries.

“Excellent Ed” earned McAnulty the 2017 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor. At The Barn, McAnulty, who lives in Kernersville, used humor to help students appreciate their own creative processes. She explained that engineering and creative writing aren’t so different.

Published April 18, 2018