Students Earn Honors in Letters About Literature Contest

Upper II students Diego A. and Alida J. recently received certificates of recognition for being finalists in the 2012 Letters About Literature program. Both Diego and Alida were among the top 10 letter writers in the California division, Level I (grades 4-6). In addition, Diego received an Honorable Mention for placing among the top four in this group.

Each year Upper students join thousands of young people from across the country in writing to authors whose work has made a difference in their lives. A total of 2,994 California students entered letters in this year's contest, with 410 of them in Level I.

“It’s exciting and impressive to see how well our students express themselves in writing and how deeply books affect them,” said Library Media Teacher Judith Kantor. “Diego and Alida wrote beautiful letters, and they have been so gracious in recognizing the excellent work of their peers as well.”

In his letter to Brian Selznick about The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Diego said: “Whether a person lives his life at its best depends not on what they have in life, but what they do with life itself, and what lens they look at their lives through. Your book taught me that to be successful I don’t have to be the flashiest actor on television or the best known film director in the world; I just have to make the best of even the most challenging situations and go where my heart leads me.”

Alida, who wrote to Li Cunxin about Mao’s Last Dancer, said: “Your book has led me to believe that, whatever your background, if you have enough drive and aspiration, you can reach your goals. When you first began to appreciate the beauty of ballet, you had the drive to work harder than anyone else, to reach your full potential. Your drive has inspired me to do the same.”

Letters About Literature is a reading promotion program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, presented in partnership with Target. Past winners from UCLA Lab School are: Lara Bagdasarian and Nial Alwash, 2010; Wonder Smith and Sage Elsesser, 2009; 
Isaac Halfon, 2008; 
Sam Miller and Alejandro Garcia, 2005; and Taku Iwai, 2004.