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Winners of the 2013 Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest

The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce that the first place winner of our Community Education Center's 16th Annual 'Celebrate America' Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest is Erin Stark of Enetai Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington. Her poem entitled What Would You Miss About Immigrants? was chosen from among thousands of entries nationwide. The piece asks what one would do if immigrants stopped coming to the United States.

Would you miss their art,

Painting, literature, and music.

Plays, sculpture, and design?.....

Immigrants are coming every day.

They bring recipes, celebrations, talents, and skills.

Variety is what they bring with them in every way.

USA would be bland without immigrants,

Now our nation is colorful and the joy is infinite.

To read the rest of the winning entry click here.

The second place winner is Julianne Capp of Las Vegas, Nevada, the third place winner is Helen Agee of Dallas, Texas and honorable mentions are Emma LaTendresse of Portland, Oregon and Jeffrey Phong of Los Angeles, California.   

Stark will read her poem and receive her award at the American Immigration Council’s Annual Benefit in San Francisco on June 28, 2013.  Her winning entry will be read into the Congressional Record and all top five winners will have a flag flown over the Capitol.

Erin’s poem was inspired by her fifth grade teacher Monica Chun’s lessons about immigration.  “I thought immediately about food, holidays and contributions [of immigrants]-like buildings”, Erin stated.  Besides writing, Erin likes to read books with fantasy and action.

The celebrity judges of the national contest are all immigrants including Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo, co-founder of National Organization for Women Sonia Pressman Fuentes, award-winning author Edwidge Danticat, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Gerda Weissman Klein. 

21 Chapters of the American Immigration Lawyers Association participated in the contest. The top entry from each participating Chapter was judged by a panel of immigration experts who chose the top five entries sent to the celebrity judges. 

2013 marks the American Immigration Council’s 16th Annual Creative Writing Contest, a national contest for fifth grade students sponsored by the Community Education Center. The contest provides youth with an opportunity to learn more about immigration to the U.S. and to explain, in their own words, why they are proud America is a nation of immigrants.