In the third annual Kudner Leyon Creative Writing Essay Contest, middle school students at Kent School were challenged to write about a fictional invention of their own and describe how they would pitch that invention to potential investors. The essays were to be between 400 and 600 words in length. With every middle school student participating, topics varied from humorous to useful to fantastic. Notable inventions were DAPS, the Daily Awesome Personal Stylist, The Square in the Air, a hologram projection system that would replace traditional viewing screens and Blaze, a fingertip fire-starting system. Three finalists from each middle school grade were selected. From those twelve semi-finalists, three essays were chosen as the first place, second place and third place winners.
Third place winner, Sarah Worth (eighth grade) put herself in a boardroom of potential but skeptical investors and described her Dream Machine. The Dream Machine records dreams and allows them to be played back on your television. Second place winner, Will Cammerzell (seventh grade) described his Super Couch with built in plumbing system, fridge and grill. The Super Couch is also equipped with a massage system designed to alleviate stress caused by close scoring games and suspenseful movies. Maria van Venrooy (eighth grade) authored the winning essay. Her invention is the Homework Terminator. The Homework Terminator, a sure winner with students of all ages, is designed to reduce two hours of homework to just one minute, freeing up a middle school student to enjoy the outdoors, read books or play games.
The Kudner Leyon Creative Writing Essay contest is named for Kent School graduates, Ariana Kudner ’91 and Amanda Leyon ’91. Both Ariana and Amanda were lovers of literature. Sadly the two were lost in a car accident in 1994. Julia Gross, Kent School librarian and contest coordinator said, “This essay contest and our entire Kudner Leyon program, which also includes a visiting author program and a literary magazine are a testament to the emphasis we place on reading and expressive writing at Kent School. Amanda and Ariana would be proud of our students’ quality of writing.”
Kent School’s Kudner Leyon program continues this spring when author Mary Downing Hahn visits to conduct workshops with middle school students. In preparation for her visit, each student from 5th through 8th grade has read at least one of Ms. Hahn’s novels which, according to her website are known for “spine-chilling ghost stories, spooky mysteries, and other books for children and teens.”
For more information about Kent School or the Kudner Leyon Memorial visit www.kentschool.org or call 410-778-4100. Kent School is an independent school serving boys and girls from pre-k through grade 8 located in Chestertown, MD.