“Planet at the Crossroads” is theme of 10th annual contest
HONOLULU – The imaginative visions of middle school students reveal their insights on the environment in Hawai‘i today, and their dreams for tomorrow. Twenty-five Hawaiʻi middle school students were selected as top winners for their poems and short stories on May 13 in the annual “My Hawai‘i” environmental writing contest for students in grades 6, 7 and 8, sponsored by the Pacific Writers’ Connection (PWC), the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance and multiple Hawaiʻi conservation agencies and organizations.
Their entries were selected from more than 500 submissions from across the state and for most of the winners, this will be their first work ever published. The anthology with all twenty-five stories will be distributed to schools and libraries across all islands. “Planet at the Crossroads” was chosen as the theme, to align with the 2016 International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress that will be held in Honolulu in September.
The students’ writing represents personal reflections on the environment, cultural values, kuleana, stewardship, and place-based writing which contributes to youth literature that is unique to Hawai‘i. The My Hawai‘i Story contest provides an educational approach that develops interdisciplinary thinkers. Many of the stories and poems include knowledge from diverse backgrounds and provide good examples of successful collaborations that integrate traditional cultural values and contemporary life in Hawai‘i. Since the contest began, 250 middle school students have had their stories and poems on the environment published. While academic testing provides a measure of content knowledge, creative writing can capture students’ thoughts, passions, beliefs, and values.
Takiora Ingram, director of the Pacific Writers’ Connection (PWC) and main driver of the writing contest said, “We are very excited to celebrate our 10th anniversary of this highly successful and inspirational annual children’s writing contest with our haumana (students), the people of Hawai‘i, and with international world conservation leaders who will be gathering in Honolulu for the IUCN World Conservation Congress. The 2016 winners will have an opportunity to showcase their poems and stories at the Congress. Mahalo nui to our winners and our partners and sponsors.”
For the past ten years, the following organizations have co-sponsored the My Hawai‘i Story contest:
Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance
Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance Foundation
Hawai‘i Department of Education
Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources
Hawai‘i Environmental Education Alliance National Park Service
Hawai‘i Office of Planning
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
The 2016 “My Hawaiʻi” writing contest winners are:
For more information news media may contact:
DLNR Communications Specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320