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Young Authors Award Ceremony Held at NMS

On Wednesday, May 15, winners of the Nicholas A. Spennato Young Authors' Project gathered with their families, teachers, and administrators at Northley Middle School to celebrate their exceptional work.  Since its inception in 1979 by the Delaware County Reading Council and the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, this project has played a pivotal role in nurturing children's passion for writing and honing their literary skills. 

Students spanning grades 1 - 8 from public and non-public schools submit their work to be evaluated by members of the Keystone State Literacy Association Delaware County and teachers across the county.  There were 600 submissions this year with 102 writings selected.  Twenty-five of those were Penn-Delco students in grades 1 - 8!

The forty-sixth annual event was held at the Northley Middle School auditorium with welcoming remarks from Superintendent Dr. George Steinhoff as well as Dr. Danielle Murray, President of the KSLA and Supervisor of Elementary Curriculum at Penn-Delco.  Dr. Steinhoff noted the unique talent demonstrated by young writers which brought them to this event.

"When you write, you create something that never existed before. Just think of that: your award-winning piece stands alone as something that in the history of all humankind –ceased be seen. It never existed before. You brought something to life – something informative, something funny, something serious – something real that will last forever."

Dr. Murray also shared remarks. Paraphrasing Martin Luther (German priest, theologian, author, hymnwriter, professor, and Augustinian friar), she challenged students to keep writing.  "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write," she quoted. 

Before the students received their certificates and collection of stories, Dr. Murray introduced the keynote speaker, cookbook author, and baking media professional Dan Langan.  Dan grew up in Delaware County, and now can be seen as a regular guest on Good Morning America as well as on social media. He is a former winner of Cake Wars produced by the Food Network.  His book is titled bake your heart out.

Dan shared his journey from learning how to bake with his mother and grandmother, baking professionally, and deciding to become a writer of baking books (he is working on his second).  He shared the years-long process of writing a published book and the doors it opened to him.  Students and parents alike asked many questions about his journey.

"Write about what you love and love to do," he advised his audience.  "I write because it makes me happy."

The Penn-Delco students who were honored with recognition include the students listed at the link below.  The Penn-Delco Board of School Directors will also honor them at the regular voting board meeting at Northley Middle School on May 22.

 You can find the list here.