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Kidsday: Students win essay contests

Each year, the Law, Youth & Citizenship program of the New York State Bar Association and the Robert H. Jackson Center hold an essay contest. These agencies choose a book whose main character deals with racism, discrimination and prejudice. The students read the book and then respond to a question about the theme. How does the character demonstrate courage and determination when faced with racism, prejudice and discrimination? The winner receives a plaque. a savings bond and a trip to the Robert H. Jackson Center in upstate Jamestown to meet the author.

Last year, we submitted essays under the guidance of our reading teacher, Ellen Benedetto. Our classmate Christian Gregory was the first-place winner. He and his mother and Ms. Benedetto traveled upstate for the award ceremony. The book was "The Devil's Arithmetic" by Jane Yolen, which was about the Holocaust. This year's book was "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" by Phillip Hoose, which tells the true story of how a 15-year-old girl challenged the Jim Crow system in Alabama in the 1950s. Another student from our school was selected as a winner: eighth-grader Evangelene Gallimore. We couldn't be more proud of these students.


Magnetic pull of Smartmax

I played with the Smartmax Magnetic Discovery kit (www .smartmaxusa.com). I think it was cool because it uses shapes, colors, building and magnetism to involve kids who are just learning how to build or make things on their own. It is a great way for kids to find out about colors and shapes. It is fun for them to connect things with the giant magnetic balls and also learn how to make their own interesting buildings and designs. There is an instruction book, which I think is fine, but it was more fun to experiment and play and build things on your own. The 25-piece kit I had was so much fun that I think kids 7 and younger will like it. I love this toy. It is so great and wonderful.

--Kidsday Reporter Tiffany Kennedy


A book you help to create

Are you looking for a book that is fun to read, and to do your own drawings, too? The book series "Mega Mash-Up" is so much fun. I read "Mega Mash-Up: Robots vs. Gorilla in the Desert," by Nikalas Catlow, Tim Wesson, and . . . you (Nosy Crow). It is a book about robots and gorillas in the desert having a race, and it was very exciting. And it is a make-your-own story book.

I got to have fun without having to watch TV or play video games. There are two other books in this series. I think you will have a fun reading, writing and drawing!

--Kidsday Reporter Ariana Wood

CLASS OF THE WEEK: Migdalia Melendez sixth-grade class, b>MILTON L. OLIVE SCHOOL, Wyandanch

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