Bethpage students win $5,000 grant in national book challenge 

students working at table

Bethpage students working on their book.

A group of second and third graders from Central Boulevard Elementary School, have achieved a great success, after they recently won a $5,000 grant in the National Book Challenge. The contest was created by Studentreasures Publishing, and the bethpage elementary school was the grand-prize winner out of seventy five thousand other applicants across the country.

Karissa Mutch and Ally Mevo, teachers and bookclub advisers at Central Boulevard, said students have entered the contest every year and that this time they struck gold. 
“This year the students in the club wrote a black and white book with illustrations, entitled, Dominoes of Kindness, which was published earlier this year as part of the program,” said Mutch. “There were twenty-three students who contributed to the book, and each student had their own page and illustration.”
Mevo said the students spent one day a week in the bookclub, from October to January, discussing what kindness means to them and how they could express their feelings in writing.
“We met once a week and the students ended up with some great ideas on how to display kindness to others,” said Mevo. “We the teachers developed the plot, but the students worked diligently getting their pages in on how random acts of kindness can brighten someone else’s day.”
Some examples of the students work included simple acts like holding the door open for others, and more farfetched ideas like calling 911 to save a pizza place from going up in flames.
The Dominoes theme came into play as each act of kindness was a followed by another act through  twenty-three pages of the book.
“The students worked very hard to demonstrate the concept of how one kind act can spread through a community the same way dominoes fall,” said Mutch. “They put a lot of effort into coloring their books in only shades of black and white with each act of kindness highlighted in red.”
The students found out they made the semifinal round in March along with fifty other schools nationwide. On June 15th they found out that they were the grand-prize winner amongst seventy-five thousand other applicants.
“They were absolutely ecstatic and we had a little celebration for them here at the school,” said Mevo. “Each student involved received a certificate, a ribbon and a published copy of the book.”

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