Ellicott City: Burleigh Manor student wins first place in state contest

Ellicott City resident Jisoo Choi won top honors in her category at the state level of the Letters About Literature contest — a national contest that encourages young readers to write a letter to an author expressing how the author and book changed their worldview and themselves.

Jisoo, a student at Burleigh Manor Middle School, was the state winner in the Level One Grades 4-6 category for her letter to author Joan Wolf, author of "Someone Named Eva."

For Level Three Grades 9-12 category, Howard County state finalists included Glenelg Country School's Kelly Johnson (who wrote to Sherman Alexie, author of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian"), Maddy Taylor (who wrote to Greg Mortensen, author of "Three Cups of Tea") and Mt. Hebron High School's Caroline Crowder (who wrote to Robert Frost, author of "The Road Not Taken.")

This year, almost 59,000 students competed nationwide in the Letters About Literature contest. Of those entries, more than 2,100 were from Maryland students.

The contest was sponsored by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress and implemented on the state level by Maryland Center for the Book at the Maryland Humanities Council.

The Howard County state finalists were recognized at the 2012 Maryland State Letters About Literature Awards Ceremony last month.

Congratulations to all the winners and good luck at the national competition.

The Ellicott Mills Middle School Drama Club proudly presents "Honk," the Tony award-winning musical about the Ugly Duckling. Don't miss this show that touches your heart and makes you laugh. Showtimes are Thursday-Saturday, May 3-5 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets will be on sale during school lunches Monday through Thursday and available at the door. General admission tickets are $8.

Teachers at Hollifield Station Elmentary School are looking for books to give to families in our community for summer reading. If you have any children's books around your house (picture, nonfiction and chapter books) that you would like to donate, please consider donating them to Hollifield Station.

The books should be appropriate for kindergarten through fifth grade and be in good condition. The deadline for book donations is May 18. Books can be bagged or boxed and dropped off at the school during school hours and mark to the attention of Jenn de Palma.

Kevin Patrick Powell would like to invite runners, walkers, sponsors and helpers to participate in the First Presbyterian of Howard County's 5k Run on Saturday, May 12. The race starts at 9:30 a.m. at Hopewell Park in Columbia and winds its way around Lake Elkhorn. It ends with food, fun and fellowship.

Through an eight-year partnership with the Maya Quiche' Boca Costa Presbytery in Guatemala, the 5k Run has helped dozens of local farmers buy and plant coffee plants that help them become self- sustaining. The cost of one coffee plant in Guatemala is only $5.

"It's a great to really help a family in a tangible way. Five dollars isn't a lot of money to us, but that can help these families thrive for years and years. Last year alone we helped 18 families fill their fields with coffee plants, "Ellicott City resident and church parishioner Pat Curran said.

For more 5k run information, email Curran or Kerrie Hamilton at letsrunforcoffee@firstpreshc.org or call 410-730-3545.

Join Mt. Hebron High School for an open house on Wednesday, May 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. as they welcome the community to their newly renovated school. Enjoy tours of the building and musical performances.

Dine to make a difference! Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post 7472 in Ellicott City is partnering again with Bob Evans restaurant to host a community fundraiser on Saturday, May 12 to benefit its Veterans Relief Fund for local veterans in need.

The restaurant, 4900 Beaver Run in Ellicott City (off of Executive Park Drive, Route 100 at Exit 1 B-C) will donate 5 percent of sales from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on May 12 when you present a special community fundraiser flyer at check out. Flyers can be found at the VFW website at http://www.vfw7472.org by clicking on the upper left hand "Post Calendar" tap, then scroll down to May 12 and click on the "Bob Evans" hyperlink.

Call VFW Post 7472 Service Officer Al Hernandez at 410-465-1801 for more information.

This story has been updated.

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