SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Leopold’s Ice Cream, in partnership with Live Oak Public Libraries, celebrated the eight winners of the 11th Annual Creative Writing Challenge at Savannah City Hall Wednesday.
Mayor Van Johnson invited the honorees to record a reading of their winning entries to share on the Savannah Government Television channel and commemorated the event with Leopold’s ice cream and a photo with the students.
Poetry submissions were judged on creativity and commitment to this year’s theme “Friends and Family.”
“Even in the midst of everything going on, we’re able to find a way to celebrate our young people, encourage our young people and eat ice cream,” Johnson said. “There’s nothing better than that.”
Since its beginning in 2011, the Creative Writing Challenge underscores Leopold’s Ice Cream’s commitment to literacy, art, education and fostering creativity and expression in young people.
Owners Stratton and Mary Leopold received hundreds of entries from local students across Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties.
“This year’s entries were so strong, it was difficult to choose which were the best,” Mary Leopold said. “It says a lot about this community’s commitment to literacy and the power of the written word. We are happy to further the cause and thrilled at the level of participation.”
“Children simplify what we complicate,” she added. “They really get to the crux of what life is all about. Friends and family are really what got us through this pandemic. And they really exemplify that in their writing.”
The winners and runners up of the competition are:
- 1st Place: “My Family and Friends” by Amay Reddy
Kindergarten, Godley Station Elementary School
- 2nd Place: “Love and Friendship” by Carson Stack
1st grade, Hesse Elementary School
- 1st Place: “Friends and Family Are My Crew” by Kasey Rodgers
5th grade, Heard Elementary School
- 2nd Place: “Family and Friends” by Joy Hall
5th grade, Haven Elementary School
- 1st Place: “The Ultimate Gift” by Hudson Christopher Miller
7th grade, Esther F. Garrison School of the Arts
- 2nd Place: “The Woods” by Ethan Crowe
6th grade, Veritas Academy
- 1st Place: “Friends and Family” by Julian Wells Deveaux
9th grade, Homeschooled, Springfield, Georgia
- 2nd Place: “The Sayings” by Krystell Sanchez Romero
12th grade, Sol C. Johnson High School
“I’ve never entered a poem contest like this before,” first-place winner for grades 9-12 Julian Deveaux told WSAV NOW. “I write poetry on the side every once in a while. I have a couple of poems, I have 20 that I’ve done over the years.”
Read the winning poems HERE. The top winners in each group will also receive a cooler filled with Leopold’s Ice Cream delivered to their homes and runners-up will receive a $25 Leopold’s Ice Cream gift certificate.