About 900 entries from students throughout Merced County were received for the Merced County Writing Festival this spring. Students submitted entries virtually to show their skills in poetry and prose.
The event, sponsored by the Merced County Office of Education, is in its 37th year.
The in-person events were canceled for the health and safety of students, their families and staff. To replace the in-person writing display typically held at the Merced Mall, a website was created to showcase all of the winning entries.
The website is available for public viewing at www.mcoe.org/writingfestival.
Students from preschool through 12th grade selected from topics in 40 different categories in poetry and prose. Students could choose short stories, essays, letters or poems.
Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen said literacy and writing skills are fundamental to educational success. “It’s important to foster creativity and writing skills, especially during uncertain times. I am proud of all the students that participated and school staff that helped to acknowledge and celebrate this work.”
Arancibia said the digital entries were judged by teachers from participating schools with MCOE coordinators taking on the responsibility to ensure the program was completed by judging the paper entries. Students receive ribbons for first, second and third place and the top two entries for each grade are awarded gold medals; one for poetry and one for prose. Awards will be delivered to school sites and districts for distribution during end of year activities.