AUBURN, Mass.- Auburn Middle School eighth grade students Keryn Reno and Hanna Harris were recently awarded Silver Keys at the Boston Globe's Scholastic Writing and Art Contest on Sunday, March 11, in Boston for their unique and inspiring writing entries.
The awards ceremony was held at the John Hancock Hall at the Back Bay Events Center. Both students entered under the direction of their eighth grade teacher, Ms. Sarah Connell.
Dating back to 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have an impressive legacy and a noteworthy roster of past winners including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, and Joyce Carol Oates.
Teens in grades 7 through 12 can apply in 28 categories of art and writing for the chance to earn awards including the Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention.
Harris submitted a short story based on her family's close relationship with her grandmother.
"When we were younger she took care of us. Once we got older, we started taking care of her," Harris said.
According to Harris, she wrote the piece to honor her grandmother.
"When I was looking through things that I wanted to submit, I picked that one because I felt like it was more personal," she said.
Today, Harris spends 2 to 3 days a week with her grandmother, enjoying simple activities like going to the movies and coloring books.
"She said that she was proud of me and happy that she could help," Harris said.
Reno submitted a unique playscript based on a puppet show she created for a history class project earlier in the year.
Set in ancient Rome, the script tells the story of a young slave named Susan and her quest to be set free.
"In ancient Rome you could buy your freedom with money," Reno said.
"Susan wasn't a normal slave. She was really smart, so she began tutoring for other Roman kids and ended up earning enough money to buy her freedom at the end," she said.
Reno said she plans to continue writing and hopes to one day become a teacher.
Both students said they will continue to develop their writing skills as look forward to their freshmen year at Auburn High School.