AES student takes 4th place in writing contest

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words, but AES fifth grader Elizabeth Cravey’s words were worth $1,000.

Elizabeth, who is in Barbara Peek’s class, took fourth place and won a $1,000 savings bond at the Hoar Construction/GMAC Bowl Reading and Writing Contest in Mobile on Mon., Nov. 30, and Tues., Dec. 1. More than 8,000 fifth graders in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida participated in the contest.

“I like to read a lot,” Elizabeth said. “My favorite books are books by Roald Dahl, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the BFG.”

Earlier this year, the students in fifth grade classes at AES wrote book reports on the books of their choice. Elizabeth wrote her report about a Roald Dahl book, The Witches. Each teacher then submitted those reports to independent judges, who helped the teachers pick the top four or five in each class. Those reports were then submitted to the contest.

“We sent about 20-25 reports to Mobile just from this school alone,” Peek said. “When you think of all the different schools that participated and all those thousands of reports, it’s an impressive accomplishment for Elizabeth.”

It is also an impressive accomplishment for AES, which has participated in the contest for the last two years, and has had a fourth-place finisher each year. Taran Carrasco placed fourth in the competition last year.

Elizabeth traveled to Mobile on Mon., Nov. 30, to participate in the finals. Each of the 10 finalists was asked to read the book Zach’s Lie, by Roland Smith, and then write a book report in front of the judges.

“I was able to read the book over Thanksgiving break, so I could work on what I wanted to say in my report,” Elizabeth said. “But then when we got to Mobile, the only thing we could bring in was the book — we couldn’t have any notes or outlines. We had to talk about the characters, the setting, the plot, and then give our opinion about it.”

Peek said Elizabeth is an “excellent writer.”

“She does a great job of describing things,” Peek said. “She uses juicy vocabulary. The language she uses is very particular — she’s very good about choosing just the right word. That makes her writing very interesting and very fun to read.”

Elizabeth received her savings bond at the awards presentation in Mobile on Tues., Dec. 1. She is the only child of Albert and Susan Cravey, who is also a third grade teacher at AES.