Second-graders pen award-winning stories
Tonganoxie has two award-winning authors in its midst -- and they're second-graders at Tonganoxie Elementary School.
The Kansas Authors Club recognized Chandler Caldwell and Erin Williams as top award winners in the 2007 Youth Writing Contest.
Erin earned second-place in fiction writing in the first- and second-grade division, while Chandler was named the third-place recipient.
Erin's story was titled "The Mystery of the Stolen Piece of Cheese," while Chandler titled his story "The Flying Roller Coaster."
Cheese is one of Erin's favorite foods, with cheddar being her absolute favorite.
In fact, the inspiration for her book was another food.
"I read this book about the biggest pumpkin," Erin explained. "I instantly thought about cheese."
As for Chandler, he said he's ridden a roller coaster once, but it was a ride called Fire in the Hole at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo, and he wasn't sure whether it could be classified as a roller coaster.
"I was just thinking about roller coasters at the moment I guess," Chandler said.
Both students didn't just write stories, though. They crafted illustrations for each page of their short books as well, so their artistic abilities also were showcased.
An awards ceremony was Oct. 6 in Wichita. Chandler and his family were able to attend. And they brought back Erin's award and certificate to Tonganoxie with them.
TES principal Tammie George said the contest was voluntary and that Kathy Riddle -- Erin and Chandler's teacher last school year -- submitted their works for the contest.
"I don't really know how many schools participate, but anytime you have something statewide, and you have two students receive awards or place, I think that's pretty exciting," George said.
A book that shows all of the stories of the contest winners will be available in the TES library.