I argued differently, of course. Because I know better.
This past Christmas, among her requests for popular music CD's, my twelve year old granddaughter asked for five books: THE LAST PRESENT, LEAP DAY, DIVERGENT, WONDER . . . and a thesaurus. A thesaurus, you say? Damn straight. And upon receipt of said thesaurus, Ireland immediately began combing through the pages, highlighter in hand.
That said, and the clichéd proof truly being in the pudding, I wanted to take this moment to offer mega congratulations to Ireland on her short story "The Silent Forest" winning an Honorable Mention in the 2013-14 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, regionally sponsored by the Harris County Department of Education. This competition was established by Maurice Robinson, founder of Scholastic Books Inc, and is the largest and most prestigious recognition program and source of scholarships for creative teens in the United States (grades 7-12).
2013 marked the Awards’ 90th anniversary, and this year more than 230,000 submissions were received in 28 categories. Dramatic script, journalism, humor, novel-writing, science fiction, painting, sculpture, photography, fashion design, film, animation, video game design — to name a few. Entries were judged on the merits of originality, technical skill, and personal vision or voice.
That’s 230,000 young artists and writers and designers, mind you, who are definitely not glued 24-7 to a smart phone. These bright and talented kids are digging deep into the wealth of their imaginations, flexing creative muscles, tweaking newly discovered gifts . . . soaring. Where would they be if there were no arts programs in our schools?
Oh, and did I tell you my granddaughter is only twelve? Of course I did.
Here are only a few of the Awards generous supporters: Scholastic Inc, the Maurice R. Robinson Fund, The New York Times, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Amazon.com and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Distinguished alumni of this award include Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Zac Posen, John Updike, Robert Redford, John Lithgow, Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King. I'd say Ireland's in pretty good company. Way to go, kid!
To learn more about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and how you can support the arts in our schools go to SCHOLASTIC.