From left: Executive Director and CEO of the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen; American National Tree Award recipient Isabelle Breier; ABC-TV journalist Nydia Han; and Alliance Senior Manager, National Programs, Scott Larner in front of the American National Tree Exhibition.

From left: Executive Director and CEO of the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen; American National Tree Award recipient Isabelle Breier; ABC-TV journalist Nydia Han; and Alliance Senior Manager, National Programs, Scott Larner in front of the American National Tree Exhibition.

This year’s M.R. Robinson National Constitution Center American National Tree Award invited rising 8th to 12th grade Gold Key recipients to write short biographical essays about 5 American activists, including: Albert Snyder, Edward Schempp, Bayard Rustin, Maya Angelou…and the incredible Nellie Bly!

For their efforts, one student receives a scholarship of $1,000 and an excerpt of their award-winning work is engraved on a brand-new leaf of the Constitution Center’s popular exhibit, the American National Tree.

More than 170 students heeded the call, and a panel from the 2013 National Student Poets Program picked their favorites for the National Constitution Center to review. One particular essay stood head and shoulders above the rest.

About a young female journalist, by a young female journalist, Isabelle Breier’s profile of Nellie Bly was inscribed on a leaf, bound on an historic tree, and celebrated this year on National Constitution Day, September 17 amid fanfare, photo opportunities and naturally, press coverage! Joining Isabelle and her family as a special guest, Philadelphia’s ABC-TV investigative reporter Nydia Han rounded out a trio of inspired and inspiring women writers; Executive Director and CEO of the National Constitution Center and the Alliance’s Senior Manager Scott Larner took part in the festivities as well. Read More

Back with THE BIG IDEA this week is alum Alexandra Franklin! Alexandra received a Scholastic Award in 2010 for her writing portfolio, and returned in the following year to edit The Best Teen Writing of 2011! Having just recently arrived in New York City to begin studies for her master’s degree at The New School, Alexandra joined me on the Scholastic Greenhouse terrace to share her thoughts.

 

Taking a leaf from her inspiring forebear, 15-year-old Isabelle Breier wrote a compelling essay about pioneering journalist Nellie Bly—and earned this year’s American National Tree Award essay contest! Isabelle is 15 and a rising 11th grader at the Hopkins School in New Haven, CT. We’ll be back with more about her, her essay and the amazing Nellie Bly on September 17 – National Constitution Day! Isabelle will join the National Constitution Center in celebrating the addition of Nellie Bly to the American National Tree exhibit.

Check back on September 17 to learn more—and while you’re at it, you can register for the 2015 Scholastic Awards!

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Studio 360’s Summer Poetry Challenge: Battle of the High School Bards

We want to hear your voices! Don’t leave your best work inside a notebook – send it to us!

We’re looking for poetry by current or rising 9th to 12th grade high school students. Studio 360 will post a featured submission online every week, and rising poetry star Dorothea Lasky will pick a winner live on the show!

Your assignment
Write a poem on the theme of summer. Your poem can be rhymed, free verse, blank verse, spoken-word, whatever you choose.

How to Submit
All rising 9th to 12th grade high school students are invited to submit. You do not need to have won a Scholastic Art & Writing Award to participate. Both text and audio submissions will be accepted. Visit Studio 360 to upload your work.

The deadline is August 18. Read More

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The American National Tree at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center

From the earliest days in America, words and actions worked together to form this nation—and they continue to shape its future as well as its history today. Nearly two hundred and twenty five years ago, on September 17, 1787, delegates to the Philadelphia Convention signed a pivotal piece of writing that formed the basis of the United States government—the Constitution. Across the nation and in Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center, each September 17 Constitution Day marks that momentous event.

The American National Tree, a popular exhibit at the Constitution Center, tells the stories of 100 Americans whose actions have helped write the story of the Constitution. On September 17, a new story will be added—and you may be its scholarship-winning author!

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers invites all rising 8th to 12th graders who have earned Gold Keys in The Scholastic Writing Awards to enter the 2014 M.R. Robinson National Constitution Center American National Tree Award. To do so, submit a biographical essay about one of the historically important Americans listed at the bottom of the page.

If your essay is selected,

  • it will be added to the tree on September 17,
  • you will be invited to Philadelphia to see your essay added to the tree, and
  • you will earn a $1,000 scholarship!

To apply for the American National Tree Award, select one of the constitutionally important Americans below and write a 250-500 word biographical essay. Send it no later than July 18, 2014 (or as soon as possible!) to American National Tree Award, The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, 557 Broadway, New York, NY, 10012, or email it to startwritenow@artandwriting.org, subject line: American National Tree Award

Have fun, and good luck! Read More