A local pupil is one of 12 winners in Georgia Public Broadcasting's 13th annual "Reading Rainbow" Young Writers & Illustrators contest.
Abhay Cashikar, 6, a rising first-grader at Blue Ridge Elementary School, won second place in the kindergarten category for his story, "The Blue Apple."
"I read the story to everyone in the class, and everybody thought it was cool," Abhay said.
He was one of more than 500 Georgia pupils in kindergarten through third grade who entered their original stories in the contest. A first-, second- and third-place winner was selected in each grade.
Laura Miller, who coordinates the contest for Georgia Public Broadcasting, said the stories are judged according to how well they meet Georgia Performance Standards in reading and writing. She said the competition encourages creativity, reading and literacy.
"This is something that they can undertake themselves," she said of the young contestants. "All children have abilities that are untapped."
Abhay's father, Anil Cashikar, said he saw an advertisement for the contest in a parenting magazine a year ago. At that time, however, Abhay was too young to enter.
His father came across the same advertisement earlier this year, and Abhay said he wanted to enter the contest.
"He just did it by himself," said Abhay's mother, Kavitha Krishnarao.
Abhay said he found out he won second place in the contest when he got a letter in the mail.
Winning, he said, was "really cool. Just awesome."
His father said Abhay's second-place showing was unexpected.
"He actually wrote the story in literally one sitting. He had the idea in the morning. He said he wanted to write it about the blue apple," Anil Cashikar said.
To read Abhay's story on the Internet, visit www.gpb.org/public/education/highlights.jsp.
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