2014 Charter Essay Contest Winners Present on the State Capitol steps

The 10th annual Minnesota Charter Public Schools Essay Contest event was held on the South Steps of the MN State Capitol on Wednesday May 7th, 2014.  The windy and cool weather didn’t stop our amazing student writers from sharing their powerful, insightful, and sometimes funny, winning essays!  Thanks to all of the students, schools, and families who came out in support of our winners. Special thanks to TCF Foundation for co-sponsoring the event, to Eura Chang at Macalester College, and to Kare11 News for reporting on the event!

 

Download the 2014 Winning Essays Booklet

 

See Kare 11’s tv report on the event here

 

 

Describe the best day you’ve had at school.

What made it the best day?

That’s the question that more than 2,600 Minnesota charter school students wrote about this spring. We deeply appreciate their insights. We also appreciate the faculty of the approximately 50 Minnesota charter public schools whose students submitted essays. We take a little space here to explain this booklet and the annual Minnesota Charter Public School Writing Contest.

This is the tenth year that the Center for School Change has run this writing contest, and the eighth year that TCF has been a co-sponsor. We deeply appreciate the support and encouragement from TCF, including Bill Cooper and Beth Topoluk.

We run the contest because we believe in the value of writing, and believe that students need more opportunities to share their work. We also believe it’s vital to honor strong student work.

In February we sent the “prompt” listed above to all of Minnesota’s charter public schools. As noted above, about 50 schools responded, with more essays than we’ve ever received before. (About 2,200 essays were submitted in 2013).

Macalester College student volunteers, led by Eura Chang, helped to review these essays. They were divided into four major categories, students in grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. After the Macalester students’ review, a second review was conducted by CSC staff. We selected what we considered the best and have published them here.

During National Charter Schools week in May, we gather at the Minnesota State Capitol to hear from and honor the winners. We’ve learned a great deal from reading these essays. We hope you will too.

Again, our thanks to TCF, the volunteer Macalester students, and to all participating schools, educators, families and most importantly, the students.

 

Congratulations to the worthy winners!

 

-Center for School Change Staff

May, 2014

Check out the following photos of this great event:

Students, families, and community members gather to hear the winning essays.

Students, families, and community members gather to hear the winning essays.

 

Surer Harbi, Grade 2. Dugsi Academy. 3rd place in K-2.

Surer Harbi, Grade 2. Dugsi Academy.

 

 

Ruby Derrick, Grade 2.  North Shore Community School.  2nd place in K-2.

Ruby Derrick, Grade 2. North Shore Community School.

 

 

Ladd Brueske, Kindergarten.  Seven Hills Classical Academy.  2nd place in K-2

Ladd Brueske, Kindergarten. Seven Hills Classical Academy.

 

 

Sarah Hashim, grade 4. Higher Ground Academy.  3rd place in 3rd-5th.

Sarah Hashim, grade 4. Higher Ground Academy.

 

 

Damien Schmulske, grade 5. New Heights School.  3rd place in 3rd-5th category.

Damien Schmulske, grade 5. New Heights School.

 

 

Ayan Mohamed, grade 4. Twin Cities International Elementary. 3rd place in 3rd-5th category.

Ayan Mohamed, grade 4. Twin Cities International Elementary.

 

 

Alaina Sherman, grade 5. Lakes International Language Academy. 3rd place in 3-5.

Alaina Sherman, grade 5. Lakes International Language Academy.

 

 

Arely Garcia Gregorio, grade 3.  Partnership Academy.

Arely Garcia Gregorio, grade 3. Partnership Academy.

 

 

Ibrahima Diagne, grade 5. College Prep Elementary

Ibrahima Diagne, grade 5. College Prep Elementary

 

 

Sridhatri Guntipally, grade 5, Eagle Ridge Academy.

Sridhatri Guntipally, grade 5, Eagle Ridge Academy.

 

 

The crowd braves the chilly wind.

The crowd braves the chilly wind.

 

 

1240

Some middle schoolers wait patiently to share their writing.

Some middle schoolers wait patiently to share their writing.

 

 

Mauresha Bivings, grade 8. Community of Peace Academy

Mauresha Bivings, grade 8. Community of Peace Academy

 

Dallas Chue, grade 6.  LIFE Prep.

Kelly Xiong, grade 6. Noble Academy.

 

 

Kelly Xiong, grade 6. Noble Academy.

Dallas Chue, grade 6. LIFE Prep.

 

 

Verdis Webb, grade 8. LIFE Prep.

Verdis Webb, grade 8. LIFE Prep.

 

 

Giana Boich, grade 6. Beacon Academy

Giana Boich, grade 6. Beacon Academy

 

 

Rosalie McGough-Pose, grade 7. Laura Jeffrey Academy

Rosalie McGough-Pose, grade 7. Laura Jeffrey Academy

 

 

Javon Henry, grade 6.  College Prep Elementary

Javon Henry, grade 6. College Prep Elementary

 

 

Pachi Lor, grade 8.  Achieve Language Academy

Pachi Lor, grade 8. Achieve Language Academy

 

 

Student listen to each others' essays.

Students listen to each others’ essays.

 

 

 

Students waiting to read... in front of a news camera!

Students waiting to read… in front of a news camera!

 

 

Tiahia Aune, grade 12. Riverway Learning Community

Tiahia Aune, grade 12. Riverway Learning Community

 

 

Violet Richardson, grade 10.  Riverway Learning Academy

Violet Richardson, grade 10. Riverway Learning Academy

 

 

Hannah Aasum, grade 10. RiverBend Academy.

Hannah Aasum, grade 10. RiverBend Academy.

 

 

High schoolers waiting to share.

High schoolers waiting to share.