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Student Writers Honored At School Board Meeting

Lindsey Kilbride

Duval County school children can now add the title “published author” to their resumes, after a recent city essay contest.

Nine of those kids were recognized at Tuesday night’s school board meeting for contributing the best writing.

The prompt: What does higher education mean to you?

The students all took different routes with the prompt.

Kevin Williams, a 9-year-old boy in 3rd grade wrote in his essay, “I have the freedom to learn new things, to travel and learn new places and become successful.”

Tyler Stocklin from Mandarin High says he was inspired by a John Dewey quote.

Stocklin said, “[Dewey] says that education is not preparation for life, but education is life itself.”

And 11-year-old Taylor Richardson wrote about the importance of reading.

“Well, when I was little I had tough learning how to read, and my mom always made me read African-American books,” Richardson said.

The book of essays, titled “Mayor Alvin Brown’s Essay Contest,” is now listed in the Library of Congress, and schools around Duval County will also have copies in their libraries.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.