Each year the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy holds an essay writing contest just before “The Celebration of Reading.*” This year BBFL joined up with the Dallas Children’s Theatre to host the announcement of the winners today. With an audience filled with students from West Dallas Community School, it was far more than sit still and listen to grown-ups drone on and on.
Instead Robyn Flatt and her DTC crew presented the stage adaptation of “Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Go, Very Bad Day.” Gee, haven’t we all had one or two of those?
Ah, but back to the essay-writing contest. After learning about former first lady Barbara Bush‘s love for reading, the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students read “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and were challenged with a question from Mrs. Bush:
“Please write a letter to Alexander telling him about a bad day you have had recently. What did you learn from your bad day?”
Mrs. Bush herself selected three winners, and her grandson George P. Bush and his gorgeous wife Amanda announced the winners and presented them with “The Barbara Bush Magic of Reading Award.” And, the winners were:
- 3rd grade — Tama Flores
- 4th grade — Ajalon Washington
- 5th grade — Hailey Williams
As each winner was announced, the audience went wild. You would have thought it was the winning run for the Rangers in the World Series.
It was interesting to see the students’ reaction. They were so excited about their classmates winning, even though it meant that they didn’t.
So, Mrs. Bush, sorry you couldn’t make the presentation today. Not only did you inspire children with the importance of reading, you provided an opportunity for adult members at the ceremony to see children celebrating genuine happiness for their friends.
* If you haven’t gotten your tickets for the November 7th “A Celebration of Reading,” hit this link and order your tickets.