AES’ Browning places in essay contest

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Browning and teacher Barbara Peek show off his check for a $1,000 college savings bond.

Browning and teacher Barbara Peek show off his check for a $1,000 college savings bond.

Andalusia Elementary School fifth grader Alex Browning recently made the short trip to Mobile, where he beat out approximately 9,995 other students to place fifth in the annual GoDaddy Bowl Reading and Writing Contest.

Browning’s teacher in the AES Talented and Gifted class Barbara Peek said, while Browning’s accomplishment is impressive, she was not surprised he placed so high in the statewide contest.

“When I talked to all of the kids and explained what they had to do, (Alex) really took to the task,” Peek said. “He’s a good reader, and he made a very purposeful selection with his book. He really made it a point to take the challenges to task.”

Peek said Browing first placed in the top of her class at AES, with a four-page essay discussing the character traits and plot of the novel “Wonder,” by R.J. Palacio.

Browning said he felt it was important to choose a novel with characters he could relate to.

“I connected to it,” he said. “It’s about a boy in the fifth grade that has a facial deformity, and it’s kind of like, his story.”

After putting his thoughts about the story of “Wonder” onto paper, Peek said Browning’s essay was submitted to the GoDaddy Bowl Reading and Writing Contest, along with approximately 10,000 other essays from around the state.

“They gave him a book to read over the Thanksgiving holiday,” Peek said. “He had to go to Mobile and write an entirely new essay.”

Browning said he finished his assigned book, “Al Capone Does My Shirts,” and was given one hour and 15 minutes to compose a new essay.

“I had to do my rough draft, and then go to Mobile and sit in a room,” Browning said. “We could only take in our book, not the rough draft.”

Browning said he finished his essay in the last five minutes of the allotted time.

His diligence paid off the following day, winning him fifth in the contest, a distinction that brings with it a $1,000 college savings bond, tickets to this year’s GoDaddy Bowl between Arkansas State and Bowling Green, a Kindle Fire and a $50 gift card.

With plenty of time left before he will need to cash in his college bond, Browning said, while he enjoys writing, he plans to become a doctor. He said he would like to attend Harvard University, but might also be interested in staying closer to home to attend Auburn University or LSU.

Browning is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph and Carrie Browning.