Students awarded as part of Letters About Literature contest


Anson Elementary School fourth grader Nolan Wilson was recognized as a finalist in the Letters About Literature Contest.


Lenihan Intermediate School fifth graders Jayda Matteson, left, and Desy Sung were selected as semifinalists in the Letters About Literature contest.

Three Marshalltown Community School District students have been recognized in the statewide Letters About Literature contest.

Anson Elementary fourth grader Nolan Wilson was named a finalist and Lenihan Intermediate School fifth graders Jayda Matteson and Desy Sung were named semifinalists.

Letters About Literature is an annual writing contest where students write letters to an author who inspired them.

Letters About Literature awards three levels in grades 4-6.  Of the 554 students in Iowa who entered, there were only six winners, 26 finalists, and 24 semifinalists.

Wilson spent several weeks writing and revising a letter to author, Jerry Spinelli, expressing how his book, Loser, impacted him.

“This is Nolan’s first attempt in the contest and this award is a testament to the many hours of hard work he put into his writing this year,” said Anson Extended Learning Program teacher Nicole Holman. “I could not be more proud of him.”

Matteson wrote her letter to author Joan Bauer about her book Close to Famous, and was able to make emotional connections to the main character’s home life as well as the passing of a beloved pet.

Sung wrote her letter to author Sharon Draper about her book Out of My Mind.  Desy made connections with the main character, Melody, and her struggles to communicate with the outside world beyond herself.

“Jayda and Desy are the type of Extended Learning students who really take it to heart,” said Lenihan teacher Vanessa Engel. “They took their letters home to write, read and revise before turning in their final letter.  These students took what they read and made true literature to self connections, which can be really hard to share with the world, but they did it and I am proud of them for it.”