The Sentence Center’s Essay Contest Winners

Spring 2016 Winner – Middle School Level
Prompt: Write about a time when you were prepared for a rainy day.

A Rainy Day
by Ben F., 7th grade

As I was walking up to the 7th wing looking for Ms.Yen, my homeroom teacher, I realized, “OH MY GOSH!” The student council presentation is today. I reached into my backpack feeling a bunch of presentation notes. I knew everything was fine and all I had to do was make it to homeroom on time. As I picked up my backpack and started running to class my water bottle spilled all over my papers and notes for the presentation without me knowing. I kept running until I stepped through the door as the bell made the shrill deadly noise “BRINGG!”

Next, I greeted Ms. Yen by saying “Hello Ms. Yen” and she responded with “Hi Ben, are you planning on trying to be our homeroom representative?” I responded calmly “For sure” thinking I was prepared. I sat down and Ms. Yen announced that everyone who was presenting a speech needed to come up to the front of the class. I opened up my backpack to see a soggy pool of papers and notebooks. I looked for my notes on the presentation and they were nowhere to be found. What I did find were two crumpled purple papers with only the words “I want to make this school better for everyone!” on them. I looked down and slumped in my chair. Then, Ms. Yen had each person go through and present. After the last person finished she asked “Ben I thought you were gonna present.” Somebody decided to crack a joke “Oh Ben is just a wuss.” Laughing broke out in the class. I dug into the chair wanting to disappear. I decided to say “Fine I will do it!” I have no idea why I said this and I completely regretted saying anything.

Although I was scared I knew I had already spoken and now I had to present. I meandered up to the front of class and tried to figure out what to say. I knew I wanted to make sure we knew of spirit days, try to make school lunches better and help keep the school clean. I decided to give an experience of each of these things and why I would be good at them. I kept my head high and didn’t stutter. In the end I won and became Ms.Yen’s homeroom representative. I was able to refocus and work hard to make sure even when something went wrong I was able rise above it and end out doing great.

My rainy day started when my bottle “rained” on my papers. Although I had trouble I was able to learn from previous experiences and overcome my challenge. I was prepared because before running for student council I had experience with giving speeches in front of large groups. I was practiced at giving speeches and knew that I wasn’t scared. You might say I brought my “speech” umbrella in preparation for a rainy day.


Spring 2016 Winner – Elementary School Level
Prompt: Should schools offer more bonuses, such as cash, for good grades?

Yes, Rewards!
by Stephen A., 4th grade

I think schools should reward prizes for good grades. They should reward prizes for good grades because it can encourage kids to try harder while doing the right thing, and will get better grades as a result.

They should reward prizes for good grades because the prizes can encourage kids to try harder. For example when my mom said “If you get second honors than you get a life sized snoopy”. That really encouraged me to try harder. For another example my mom also said “If you get 1st honors I will get you the Lego Turbo Tank”. That encouraged me to try even harder. As a result of kids trying harder there is a bigger chance that they will not drop out of school, high school, or college.

They should also reward students for good grades because you are rewarding kids for trying hard and getting good grades. That sounds like a good deal to me. Also rewarding someone for getting good grades should make you feel good on the inside. For example when my mom gave me my giant snoopy because I got 2nd honors most likely made her feel good on the inside and outside. It is a win for both of us. If you reward someone for good grades just know that you are doing the right thing.

Students can also get better grades if you reward them for they’re good grades. Also if more people at your school get good grades the schools reputation strengthens. That’s good for you the student and the school. It is good for the school because it proves that the school gives its students a good education. It is good for you because it shows that you the student goes to a good school and it also shows that you are getting a good education.

Kids will try harder when you are rewarding them for getting better grades. Yes! For this reason, sounds like the school board should have schools award children for good grades.

I rest my case.


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